With the rapid advancement of modern technology, more problems are born which did not exist 5 or 10 years ago. One such problem has boomed recently in the wireless technology industry – wireless signal coverage, security and scaling for small to medium businesses.

What is the problem?

In the current technological boom, there has been an enormous influx in the amount of devices that operate using wireless technologies. In the business world, there are an array of items that are used day to day in offices, warehouses, coffee shops and anywhere else that comes to mind.

Devices such as PDQ card readers, printers, stock taking devices, tills and tablets for taking orders all now have the functionality to connect to your wireless router or access point. With this huge increase in wireless interconnectivity comes pitfalls such as the lack of cybersecurity, limited functionality and restricted bandwidth that you may expect.

Why do we need to fix it?

As the complexity and amount of devices we connect to our wireless networks increases, businesses and domestic users alike become increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks and other network faults that can render businesses inoperable.

With malicious acts such as man-in-the-middle attacks becoming easier with wireless, it is extremely important to implement your wireless deployments to adhere to all of the advised security guidelines.

How can we address it?

There are a variety of wireless solutions that can be tailored to your business needs, depending on the requirements and scale of the project. Home broadband routers with built-in wireless functionality are especially vulnerable to such attacks. If you are to use your router provided by your service provider, it is advised at minimum to change all of your default username and password settings.

Moving on to more advanced deployments, a common configuration is to have a dedicated wireless access point, or network of wireless access points, connected to your local business network. These access points or APs, can provide far more functionality than built-in wireless access points can.

Some of the more advanced features that can be used to tackle the threats of cyber attacks are:

  • VLAN segregation
    • Separating your wireless network traffic into different virtual LANs allows for additional inter-VLAN security to be implemented, along with varying security measures for each SSID.
  • 1X security
    • The increase in dictionary attacks on wireless networks means that PSKs (Pre-Shared-Keys) are becoming easier to guess by automated programs. The introduction of certificate-based security negates the need for a wireless password, whilst increasing your network security.
  • Guest networks
    • Separate guest networks can help aid in preventing unauthorised access to devices that live on your network.
  • MAC filtering
    • The ability to filter connection permissions based on MAC address means that only the devices that you specify will be allowed to connect to your network.

What will the future bring for wireless deployments?

With the increase in wireless vulnerabilities being exposed, it is likely that the future for wireless deployments will bring more advanced handshake methods of authentication along with some form of trusted-vendor type acknowledgements. The ever-expanding variety of wireless devices in use in the office calls for a unanticipated problems to be addressed as soon as possible to keep our businesses secure.

Whatever the business requirement, Azera Technology have the solution for you.

To find out about Azera’s wireless deployment options or any other services that we can offer you, please feel free to call us on 01202 375343, or send an email to hello@azeratech.co.uk.

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