Often, businesses focus on network security, but not necessarily Wi-Fi security. Since Wi-Fi is how most employees and guests connect to your business, it's critical to give it the attention it deserves. One easy, yet effective and proactive step you can take is to follow a good security checklist to reduce your vulnerability to attacks and breaches.

 

Why You Need a Wi-Fi Security Audit Checklist

When developing a comprehensive data security management solution, you want to make sure it includes measures that will protect you against potential sources of risk associated with wireless connections. A great way to do this is by creating and following a good Wi-Fi security audit checklist. This list needs to be based on a set of best practices for securing Wi-Fi access to protect irreplaceable data. What’s surprising is that although much of what businesses do now is cloud-based, including servers, and even network-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service models, it's not uncommon for this type of audit to get overlooked.

You should know that even if you're not keeping your data on premises, employees are accessing it through your premises. Your Wi-Fi network is the access point for everything you store in the cloud. If it's not safe, hackers can still breach your cloud services simply using data they access from employees' devices.

Following a good checklist helps add an extra layer of security to your network defenses during the setup process, keeping bad actors out and your data safer.

 

Creating the Checklist

While your Wi-Fi security setup checklist will vary based on your business's needs and risks, there are certain items that managed IT service providers typically recommend.

These are:

  • Creating an Acceptable Use Policy for all employees
    • This includes what types of sites they can access, what types of devices can connect (personal, business, or a combination), and what security measures must be on a device before it connects.
  • Defining which devices are allowed to connect
    • Company-owned, personal, hybrid, etc.
  • Securing all company devices that need to connect
    • This includes setting up passwords, company antivirus protection, requiring logins for accessing Wi-Fi, etc.
  • Using a nondescript Wi-Fi SSID
    • This makes it more difficult for hackers to identify your network.

Reviewing encryption standards, firewalls, and password policies

  • Are your wired network security measures acceptable for setting up a Wi-Fi network?
  • You'll need to carefully choose the right Wi-Fi encryption for your business, ensure firewalls are in place to restrict traffic, and choose a secure Wi-Fi password.

Creating a separate Guest Wi-Fi network

  • A guest network will have more access restrictions in place to ensure guests can't access company data without your permission.
  • Using a unique login for each guest so it can't be reused without permission
  • Separating what your company and guest Wi-Fi networks can access
  • Requiring authenticated access for all users
  • Segmenting your Wi-Fi network
    • This means breaking down a larger network into a collection of smaller subnets with separate access credential requirements.

Testing Wi-Fi network access and what employees and guests of different levels can easily access

  • Once you have your Wi-Fi network setup, perform an initial test to ensure users can log on, access just what they need (segmented Wi-Fi networks limit access), and guests can't connect to your main Wi-Fi network.

 

 

A Note About Segmenting Your Network

While segmenting the network might seem odd, it's actually an important part of any data security management solution. This helps drastically reduce the effects of a breach. For instance, if each department has their own network containing what they need to access, only that segment is affected if they're hacked. Other segments can get locked down, protecting your business.

 

Adjusting Your Checklist

There isn't a “one size fits all” approach to securing a Wi-Fi network. The reason you need to define your own Wi-Fi security audit checklist is so that you can address your unique risk factors. For example, a small business might not have any real reason to segment their network. Another example: if guest access isn't allowed, a guest network wouldn't need to be included in your checklist.

For an even more comprehensive recommendations, check out the Enterprise Wireless Audit Checklist published by SANS Institute.

By using a Wi-Fi security audit checklist during the setup process, you give your network a secure start. You eliminate common risk factors and mistakes that occur during network setups that lead to breaches.

 

GSDSolutions provides managed IT services in the Bay Area to help businesses create the right checklist for their Wi-Fi network. We also perform regular audits to ensure your data stays secure. Our friendly support team and predictable labor costs ensures you're better equipped to manage and mitigate security risks.

Give our team at GSDSolutions IT Services a call at (650) 282-7695, or drop us an email at getstuffdone@gsdsolutions.io to learn more about our services and how we can help you put a secure network security process in place for your business.

 

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