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SCW has been serving the Spokane Valley area since 1997, providing IT Support such as helpdesk support, computer support, and technical consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

3 Ways You Can Boost Your Router’s Security

3 Ways You Can Boost Your Router’s Security

Your wireless routers do a lot of heavy lifting, and give a lot of devices access to the rest of your network. Protecting your personal and business data is extremely important, and if you can secure your router it can go a long way toward tightening up your network’s security. Let’s take a look at a couple of practices that work to keep your wireless Internet secure.

Before we dive into this list, we want to talk about the router itself. Many people that use their router every day don’t understand that all routers are effectively computers. They have their own operating systems and because of that, they have their own vulnerabilities. The truth is that most of the routers that people use are not built with a great deal of security in mind, and the ones that do have solid security tend not to alert their users that new firmware is available.
This can lead to vulnerabilities lingering longer than users would like, and can cause data breaches. 

That brings us to our first line item: 

Update Your Router’s Software and Check Settings

Like any computing system that you use, your router runs software that allows it to function for end-users. This means that as your router gets older, you will have to update the firmware and other software that the router uses to route wireless signals. Other settings you will want to consider changing include:

  • Change network name or SSID - Make sure it is something that is unique but doesn’t necessarily identify you or your organization.
  • Turn on automatic firmware updates - As we described already, getting firmware updates is essential to maintain security for your router. 
  • Enable WPA2 wireless encryption (or WPA3, if your router supports it) - Ensures that only authorized users can access your wireless network. 

Disable Dangerous Accessibility Options

Most people use the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) feature as it comes on many routers as the default setting. Not knowing how to do much in the way of customization would keep UPnP working on Internet-facing ports. This can be a major avenue of attack for someone looking to break into your business’ or your personal wireless connection. 

Another issue that is concerning is the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature on your router. It is the ease-of-use feature on the device that allows you to connect devices through a static eight-digit pin, even if the username and password has been changed on the router. The worst part is that most of the time that PIN is printed right on the router. Many security professionals have stated that if the WPS feature is on on your router, anyone that knows how can get into it. Not a good situation.

Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi Network

One of the best ways to keep your wireless network secure is to not give anyone that you don’t trust access to it. One of the best ways to keep them out of that network is to set up a guest Wi-Fi network as an offering to visitors. Most commercial-grade routers and many personal routers provide this level of functionality. You can even set the network to turn off after a certain amount of time. 

If you or your business runs a lot of Internet of Things devices, this guest network may just be the thing that can keep them from causing security problems. Simply connect IoT devices to the guest network and avoid whatever potential security pitfalls the IoT devices—which are notorious for not having the best internal security—could bring to your network. 

Keeping your wireless network secure can go a long way toward keeping your whole computing infrastructure running efficiently and helping you avoid the negative situations that come from having to deal with a security breach. Give SCW a call at (509) 534-1530 today to learn more about keeping your business secure. 

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Wednesday, May 31 2023

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