Protecting IT when using wireless networks

If your business has a wired network within a secure perimeter, an attacker is unlikely to be able to connect to it without you knowing. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of wireless networks. An attacker could easily connect from a nearby parked car or building.

You can protect your wireless networks by using encryption and strong user authentication. Find out more from our pages for encryption and access control.

Modern wireless routers support an encryption protocol called WPA2. If you have a Wi-Fi network that still uses the original WEP encryption protocol or is unencrypted, replace or reconfigure your router now. These older protocols make it easy for attackers to monitor your network and read your traffic.

To make it easy for customers to join the network, public Wi-Fi networks in such places as coffee shops are not encrypted. If you use such networks, remember that anybody who wants to can read your network traffic.

Although sensitive services such as online banking will still be protected by encryption built into the bank’s service and your web browser, an attacker can still gain information, such as the name of your bank. This can be used if they try to illicit other information when phishing.