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Protecting Your Business Data: Essential Steps for Securing Home Wireless Networks

Last updated: 11 Dec 2023
Wireless Network Security: Implement vital measures for home wireless networks to ensure wireless network security.

As the trend towards remote and hybrid work arrangements continues to gain momentum, it’s become increasingly crucial for businesses to pay attention to a frequently overlooked aspect of cybersecuritythe security of your employees’ home wireless networks. These networks have significantly expanded the access points for cyber threats due to the widespread adoption of remote work. As such, they present critical vulnerabilities that need to be addressed. For businesses aiming to uphold a strong cybersecurity stance, recognizing and proactively addressing this security gap is of utmost importance.

Essential Steps for Securing Home Wireless Networks

Protecting your business’s data and preventing unauthorized access requires implementing robust security measures on your employees’ home wireless networks, especially for remote work environments. Here are some essential steps to follow: 

  1. Creating and enforcing strong password policies 

Default passwords are notoriously weak and easily guessable, making them a major vulnerability. Ensure your employees change the default passwords for the router’s administrator login and the wireless network.  

Best Practices: 

  • Encourage your employees to use longer passwords with a minimum length of 12 characters—providing greater complexity and making them more difficult to crack. 
  • Enforce password complexity guidelines, promote developing a password with combinations of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Character diversity increases the number of possible combinations, which can be more challenging for attackers to guess. 
  • Discourage the reuse of passwords across different accounts. When you reuse a password, all accounts with the same password are at risk and can be compromised. 
  1. Enable Encryption 

Encryption acts as a formidable barrier, safeguarding your data from prying eyes. Scrambling and encrypting your data renders it unreadable without the decryption key. This encryption process transforms your wireless network into a secure tunnel wherein your sensitive information remains confidential, including passwords, financial details, and personal communications. In the context of home wireless networks, enabling encryption in a home wireless network is like establishing a secure tunnel through which data can travel safely.  

Best Practices: 

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) is the most secure encryption protocol currently available, so prioritize using it on your employees’ home networks.  
  • If WPA3 is not supported by their routers, WPA2 with Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (AES) encryption is a suitable alternative. 
  1. Disable Remote Administration

While remote administration offers the convenience of managing router settings from anywhere, it poses a significant security risk to home wireless networks. This feature permits unauthorized individuals with internet access to control the router’s configuration. Malicious actors could exploit this vulnerability to modify critical settings, such as passwords, encryption protocols, and access restrictions, compromising the overall network security. For enhanced protection, disable remote administration unless strictly required to prevent unauthorized router configuration access. 

  1. Update Router Firmware

Like software applications on devices, router firmware needs regular updates to maintain security and functionality. These updates often include patches that strengthen defenses and close potential vulnerabilities.  

Best Practices: 

  • Encourage employees to regularly check for and install firmware updates to minimize security risks. 
  • Provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to check for and install firmware updates. 
  • Offer assistance to employees who may encounter difficulties during the update process. 
  1. Enable Firewall 

Firewalls act as gatekeepers, meticulously scrutinizing each data packet attempting to enter or exit your network based on predefined rules. Offering robust protection against malware and viruses, they permit authorized traffic while blocking unauthorized access attempts. Encourage your employees to enable the firewall on their routers to protect against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. 

  1. Limit Network Access 

Consider implementing MAC address filtering to bolster your employees’ home network’s security. This network security measure restricts access to your network based on each device’s unique physical addresses or MAC addresses.  

Creating a list of authorized MAC addresses can help your employees ensure that only devices with pre-approved access can connect to your network, making it more challenging for cybercriminals to exploit unsecured devices as entry points into your home network. 

  1. Enable Guest Network

The guest network, designed to isolate visitor traffic, confines connected devices like smartphones or laptops to a separate network segment. It shields the main network from unintentionally introducing malware or viruses from visitors’ devices, reducing the risk of widespread infection. 

Make a separate guest network for visitors to isolate their traffic from the main network, preventing visitors from accessing sensitive company data and reducing the risk of inadvertently introducing malware or viruses. 

Additional Security Measures for Enhanced Protection

  • Change the Router’s Default Name (SSID): Generic SSIDs (e.g., those that include the router’s manufacturer) can reveal information about the network and make it more visible to potential attackers. Encourage your employees to change the SSID to something unique and non-descriptive. 
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN encrypts internet traffic, which creates a secure tunnel between your employee’s device and the company’s network. It is useful, especially when accessing sensitive data over public Wi-Fi networks. 
  • Educate Employees on Cybersecurity: Conduct regular cybersecurity training to raise awareness of common threats and best practices among employees. Provide training on password hygiene, phishing scams, social engineering attacks, and safe internet browsing habits. 
  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA enhances security by requiring additional verification factors, such as a code sent to a mobile phone or generated by an authentication app. 

As the global workforce adapts to remote work, prioritizing home network security becomes a strategic investment in adapting to the changing dynamics of the modern workplace, ensuring a successful and resilient path in the digital age. By strengthening these networks, you can reduce cybersecurity threats, meet legal requirements, and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining trust and reputation. 

Secure your business for success with BlackPoint. Elevate your cybersecurity measures, enhance network resilience, and ensure the safety of your employees’ remote work environments. Our tailored carrier solutions, including secure VoIP services, comprehensive network assessments, and proactive security training, empower your business to thrive in the digital era. Contact us today for a personalized consultation, and let’s build a secure foundation for your success.