Is your guest network exposing you to hackers?
WiFi is an essential part of our everyday lives in today’s interconnected world. Offering WiFi is considered a courtesy to your customers, and in some cases, necessary for vendors or other guests who may be meeting at your office.
This begs the question: should you implement guest WiFi at your office, and is it safe for your business network?
Creating a separate WiFi network for customers or office visitors can be beneficial to small and middle-market businesses. Still, there are a few important things to consider when setting up a guest WiFi network.
Current state of network security
Many people establish a guest network as a security precaution. Guest networks make sense in theory. A guest network offers a simple way to provide your visitors an Internet connection without giving them access to your primary network. The guest network operates as a separate network from the primary network. The limited access on a guest network was thought to protect the main network from infected devices and keep your devices secure.
Unfortunately, software-based network isolation in guest networks isn’t hacker proof as people were lead to believe. If a hacker launches a cyber-attack by overloading the router on the guest network, the router internally uses the main network to manage its performance, making the main network vulnerable to data leaks or malicious hacking. Guest networks are easy targets for hackers as they are often poorly secured and create an avenue into the primary network while bypassing software-based security solutions.
Firewalls and web filtering on guest WiFi
Web filtering for guest WiFi should be as restrictive as your regular web filtering policy, if not more so.
Guest WiFi is separate from your business’s network, but you still need the same level of IT security. Through web content filtering, you can restrict access to sites containing harmful content or hacking suspicions.
Your firewall also restricts access from the guest WiFi to the company’s network. And if you must grant limited access to the organization’s network, it’s done through the firewall. For example, if a guest WiFi user needs a printer on the company’s network, this can be configured on the firewall.
But be careful. Giving too much access can compromise your business’s network security. Your IT support provider can help you safely allow your guests limited access.
Take the next step towards a secure business guest WiFi network
Whatever your reason for having guest WiFi, it’s essential that you take these simple yet effective steps to secure your business network. Talk with your IT manager or managed IT services provider to discuss building a secure guest WiFi network for your office visitors.
When set up correctly, you can rest assured knowing that your WiFi isn’t a vulnerability to your business.
About Plow Networks
Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.