It’s no surprise that we use our devices for most of our daily tasks, but have you ever thought about the tech that our devices use to connect to everything? The answer is simple: network devices! For the fourth week of Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM), we discuss the importance of network devices and how to keep them secure.
Networking devices are responsible for the communication and interaction between the hardware on a computer network. The most common networking hardware that connects your network to the internet is either a modem, a router, or a modem-router combo. Other examples of networking hardware include a hub, switch, router, bridge, gateway, modem, repeater, and access point.
With the help of networking devices, computer networks can be built and used for many purposes. Computer networks allow us to share, communicate, and access data between devices on the network. As explored in weeks one, two, and three of CSAM, it is important to be aware of cybersecurity dangers and know how you can protect your devices against cyber threats.
So, how exactly do you secure a network? Let’s take a look at how you can protect your business network, set up a secure Wi-Fi network, and use Wi-Fi safely.
Protecting Your Business Network
One of the best ways you can protect your business network is to create a cybersecurity plan for your organization. A cybersecurity plan works to educate yourself as a business owner and your employees to keep your business network secure.
Businesses tend to be a favourable target due to their wealth of corporate data that is stored on their network(s). Attackers also target businesses because there are multiple points of entry with many employees working together on a network.
What should you include in a cybersecurity plan for your business?
To best prepare your business and your employees for cybersecurity, your cybersecurity plan should establish:
- Clear internet usage guidelines
- Rules for email safety
- Social media plan
- A bring your own device (BYOD) and telework plan
Setting Up a Secure Wi-Fi Network
There’s no doubt that having access to a secure Wi-Fi network provides us with unlimited benefits. It’s important to take basic steps to secure your Wi-Fi network to protect your devices and data from potential cyberattacks.
The following 9 steps* will walk you through the basic steps to secure your Wi-Fi network.
* The following steps have been sourced from getcybersafe.ca. Every router is different and if you are having issues, visit the manufacturer’s website.
Step 1: Open your router console
While connected to Wi-Fi, enter your router’s IP address into the address bar on your internet browser.
Step 2: Log in
Enter your username and password. These credentials are usually found on the back of your router or the manufacturer’s website if they haven’t been changed.
Step 3: Find the security settings
The security settings may also be called “Wireless Security”.
Step 4: Rename your router
Rename your router but be sure not to include any personal information.
Step 5: Use a passphrase
Use a complex passphrase for your router’s password.
Step 6: Change your encryption
Under the Network Authentication setting, choose WPA2.
Step 7: Create a guest network
Keep your business network protected. Create a separate guest network to allow your visitors access to the internet, but not your corporate information. To do this, turn on the guest network in your settings and give the new network a unique name and password.
Step 8: Save your settings
Be sure to click “Save” or “Apply” to save your new changes.
Step 9: Get connected again
Connect your devices to your new network.
Use Wi-Fi Safely
Now that you’ve secured your Wi-Fi network, it’s important to know how you can browse the internet safely and strengthen your network connection. The following tips serve as a basic guide to using Wi-Fi safely:
- Don’t visit malicious sites, use websites with HTTPS protocols
- Avoid phishing scams
- Use caution around public Wi-Fi
- Never connect to an unfamiliar network
- Use data encryption services
- Use a VPN
- Update your antivirus and antimalware software
- Ensure you have a good firewall
Keep Your Network Secure
Our networks work hard to keep us connected. It’s important to take the basic steps outlined in this article to keep your network secure. For more cybersecurity tips, be sure to check out the AlphaKOR Academy.
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