Maintaining network security should be your top priority. If your security strategy is to fly under the radar, you need a new plan. No business is too small to be a target for a network breach. Threats are everywhere. Let’s take a look at planning a secure and reliable Wi-Fi strategy.

Most places of business today have already gone through wireless network implementation. Luckily today’s wireless internet is easy to install, is faster than ever, and is better at protecting network security better than ever before, -if it is set up correctly. Let’s look at this step-by-step.

Step #1 – Identify Need

There are pros and cons to implementing a business wireless network. On one hand, a wireless network is more cost-effective, enhancing mobility, which can make your work environment much more flexible and collaborative. On the other hand, data sent over a Wi-Fi connection is more susceptible to threat. Data security has definitely evolved along with WiFi, but you will have to keep an eye on wirelessly transmitted data. That’s just a reality of life today.

Step #2 – Coverage Area

The next step is to identify which area needs WiFi coverage. Do you want your Wi-Fi to reach outside your building? Examine just where you will need coverage and come up with an idea of where your access points will be.

Step #3 – Bandwidth

Before building your Wi-Fi network, determine how much bandwidth you will need for the users on your network. Are your users using cloud platforms or uploading and downloading data constantly? Estimate your business’s bandwidth needs so that you don’t underbuild and have to rebuild later.

Step #4 – Hardware

Identify the hardware you need for the platform you’ve planned. First, decide which wireless standard to follow. There is some interchangeability between standards, but for business, it’s better to use a single standard. The most common for high-speed wireless transmission are 802.11a and 802.11g. 802.11b delivers slower Internet speeds but uses cheaper hardware.

Step #5 – Implementation

Setting up the network may take all day, or you may be able to just put a single wireless router on the wall next to the modem and be done. It depends on your layout. Do a site survey to test the Wi-Fi’s reach so you can put the hardware in the right spots.

Step #6 – Security

Before using your new Wi-Fi network, you absolutely must implement your security. At Quikteks, we suggest that you have an IT expert set up your security. An expert has the experience to set up the network security options smoothly, and can easily integrate it with your other network security pieces.

If you are doing it yourself, here is what you need to do:

1. Change your router’s admin password – In all security practices, change the password first.

2. Turn off Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcasting – This prevents people on the street from seeing your wireless network.

3. Change default SSID – Avoid commonly known factory-provided SSID values by changing the SSID login name.

4. Enable MAC address filtering – Control which users have access to what access points.

5. Add EAP authentication and enable encryption – This requires secure authentication from each user on the network.

6. Consider virtual private networking – A virtual private network connection can provide extra secure access to your network when you are out of the WLAN’s reach.

Step #7 – Deploy

Once your Wi-Fi is secure, start adding your users to it. Our technicians at Quikteks can save you a lot of time and effort with this process. Our team can properly set up the secure Wi-Fi network using the SSID information and a MAC address filter, whitelisting the devices you want to allow, rather than blacklisting all the devices you don’t. This is much more efficient.

If you would like help setting up your business’ Wi-Fi connection, call us at Quikteks today at (973) 882-4644.