Top 4 Strategies for Securing Small Business Networks

Install your own router. This might sound complicated, but simple solutions are still effective. The router provided by your Internet Service Provider is not suitable for your business alone. These devices are often long overdue for security updates – if the manufacturer is making them available. Your own router should be connected to the ISP router, and all your devices then connect through your own router. This provides a controllable and transparent layer of protection for your business that is not dependent on an uninterested third party. Think of it this way: the ISP router is for the ISP to deliver your Internet service. Your router is there to ensure your business’ security on that Internet service.

  • Install your own WiFi access points. Primarily, do not use the ISP’s WiFi alone. For the same reasons you should install your own router, install your own WiFi access points, too. Consider those ISP WiFi connections insecure, because in likelihood, they are. If possible, disable the WiFi altogether so that others cannot connect without your knowledge and you will not be tempted to use it either. Bonus: installing your own WiFi access points may significantly increase performance over those from the ISP.
  • Turn off the network when you leave. When your systems are not needed but still left on, they remain available to hackers. If your business is open for 8 hours each day, devices still on make them available for the other 16 hours each day. Many devices provide management via power-on schedules. In other cases, you may be able to connect them to power switches within easy reach, and flip the switch off as you leave each day.
  • Turn off the Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless networking protocol designed for fairly close distances up to about 30 feet. Like any unused network service, this could be used by hackers as a window into your larger networks. You may find unneeded Bluetooth services running on TVs, printers, tablets, POS terminals, wireless speakers, and even your own cell phone. Ask your employees to do the same if they utilize your company’s WiFi network.