Wireless Network Security

Securing Your RF Network

Once your wireless network has been installed, it is imperative that you take the proper precautions to secure it. This necessary step is meant to protect your data from hackers.

First of all, you need to change the default password on your router. The default passwords on network equipment are widely known, so leaving the default password can leave you extremely vulnerable. Additionally, you should use a complex passphrase. A strong passphrase will have at least 25 characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

A wireless security protocol will encrypt your private data as it is transmitted. WEP, WPA and WPA2 wireless security protocols are described below:

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

The original encryption protocol developed for wireless networks, and can be found on older wireless devices. WEP was designed to provide the same level of security as wired networks, but has many well-known security flaws, is difficult to configure, and can be compromised easily. WEP encryption can be cracked in just a few minutes. If you are using WEP, it is recommended that you upgrade to a newer model.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

WPA was originally used as an interim security enhancement over WEP while the 802.11i wireless security standard was in development. Most current WPA encryptions use a preshared key (PSK), known as WPA Personal, and the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) for encryption. WPA Enterprise uses an 802.1X authentication server to distribute different keys to each user.

Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2 (WPA2)

WPA2 is based on the 802.11i wireless security standard, and was finalized in 2004. The most significant enhancement to WPA2 over WPA is the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for encryption. WPA2 is supported by any modern wireless router, as well as any wireless device or adapter card made in the last few years. WPA2 is highly recommended for encrypting your data.

Network SSID Name

Another step in the process of securing your wireless network is to change the default SSID (Service Set Identification). Default SSIDs include “wireless,” “netgear,” or even “default.” It is recommended that you change the SSID to an uncommon name. It is also advisable to select a name that would not tempt any would-be hackers. You should choose a name that is lengthy and contains both letters and numbers. You should also consider changing the SSID on occasion. Keep in mind that any devices connected to your network before the SSID was changed will need to recognize the new one before reconnecting.

Guest Networking Accounts

If you have clients visiting your workplace who may need access to your wireless, it would be a good idea to set up a guest network. This way, you are not providing your static passphrase to anyone who does not work for your company. You can also change the guest network password periodically for increased security.

Bar Code Integrators, Inc can answer all of your questions about wireless coverage, performance, and network security, so that you are confident in the security and functionality of your wireless local area network. We can help you started on your new WLAN right away. Regardless of your company’s size, scope or security needs, we give you the coverage your business needs. Call us at 847-615-2933 for more information about our easy setup process, or email us with the contact form below.

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