How to keep your guest WiFi free from cyber attacks

Ever considered your guest WiFi to be your weakest link? In a world where the average consumer and employee expect to be connected to the internet through multiple devices and touchpoints no matter the time of the day or place, there’s every possibility that your WiFi could be a target of opportunistic cyber criminals.

When thinking of cyber attacks, one might think of large scale attacks targeted at large corporations owning a lot of sensitive information. But very often, attacks are perpetrated via quite simple techniques, and don’t necessarily target the organisations you might think. Think of all the public spaces where you have public/guest Wi-Fi access: whether it is hospitals, public parks or malls, they generate thousands of connections per day, and are thus more likely to get hacked by cyber criminals.

Now it’s time to look at how your business can proactively keep its guest WiFi free from cyber attacks.

1. Implement strict content filtering rules

When it comes to protecting your network and business data, the more restrictions, the better. A particular risk with guest WiFi is the lack of control over the pages being visited. Users could access potentially harmful websites that host malware or dangerous content, so implementing content filtering rules is a great way to bolster your defence.

2. Change your password periodically

It’s easy to get complacent when it comes to updating passwords. You know how important it is to regularly change your personal passwords – the same holds true for your WiFi network. Updating your password is a really simply way to keep your guest WiFi in check.

3rd May was World Password Day and it’s a timely reminder of thinking about what makes a strong password. Would you believe that some of the most popular passwords in 2018 are still “password”, “123456” and “abc123”?

My top tips for securing passwords:

  • Create a password that uses numbers, caps, and special characters
  • Use unique passwords for each account
  • Add an extra layer of security to your basic login procedure by adding two-factor authentication. A typical example is a requirement to enter an auto-generated PIN code that has been texted to your mobile phone, after entering a password initially.
  • Set up a secure password manager. With so many online and mobile accounts, it feels almost impossible to remember as many unique passwords. A password manager comes in the form of lightweight plugins for web browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and can automatically fill in your credentials after saving them in an encrypted database. All you need to do is remember a single, strong, master password.

3. Ask for help!

For SMEs, priority is to drive sales, manage staff, and make sure you’re keeping business operations running smoothly. It’s easy to leave IT matters to last: with little time and very limited IT budgets to hire an extensive IT team, security expertise often falls behind and SMEs struggle to keep pace with the latest cyber threats.

I can’t express enough the importance of partnering with cyber security companies that can give you expert advice, and ensure you’re keeping up-to-date with legal requirements as well. Third-party cybersecurity experts deal with malicious attacks every day, they know exactly what your organisation might be vulnerable to, the specific risks of your industry, the attack that might strike next, and how you can protect your business with the right tools and strategies. Not only will it help in a practical sense, it will also give you peace of mind knowing it’s taken care of.

Dan Slattery, Senior Information Security Analyst, Webroot

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