With greater Wi-Fi access comes heightened concern about security

With greater Wi-Fi access comes heightened concern about security

In recent years, many business leaders have come to realize just how critical network optimization is in today’s world. A strong network is essential for addressing a wide range of business needs – you can improve communications with video conferencing equipment, you can streamline your facilities with connected infrastructure like lights and thermostats, and so on. We’re living in the “Internet of Things” era, and a good network is essential to keep up. From an employee productivity and customer experience perspective, there’s really no substitute.

At the same time, your network can also bring vulnerabilities. Consider this: According to a recent report from Spiceworks, entitled “Data Snapshot: Wi-Fi Security in the Workplace,” there’s a pretty big gap between how much companies are doing with IoT technology and how well they’re handling the security issues that come along with it.

Spiceworks found that 50% of all organizations today have IoT devices connected to their Wi-Fi networks, and yet a majority of them are not confident they’re protecting against Wi-Fi attacks on those devices. Specifically, 52% worry about attacks on controllers like smart lights and thermostats, 49% about IP-enabled appliances, 42% about video equipment, and 40% about electronic peripherals such as connected projectors.

“While adoption of IoT devices is increasing in the workplace, many IT professionals are still wary of connecting these often un-patchable devices to corporate Wi-Fi networks,” Spiceworks analyst Peter Tsai said. “To make matters worse, the recent revelation of Wi-Fi exploits, such as the WPA2 KRACK attack, have called security mechanisms into question that were once assumed to be relatively secure.”

In the specific verticals where we at Zones specialize, there are a host of industry-specific Wi-Fi concerns that we deal with regularly. In healthcare, for example, our clients are constantly challenged to optimize Wi-Fi access in a way that balances employee experience with regulatory concerns, such as HIPAA compliance. In education, a number of public school districts are forced to fine-tune their networks for students and teachers despite significant budget constraints. These are real challenges that organizations encounter every day, and it’s essential to overcome them.

Luckily, organizations are far from powerless to do anything about these issues – in fact, Spiceworks found a wide range of strategies that can be effective. The most popular ones were using security protocols such as WPA2, offering separate Wi-Fi networks for employees and guests, and using strong SSID network names as well as strong passwords on networking devices.

All of this technical jargon is a lot to hack through, though. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the whole process, that’s understandable. The good news is that we can help. At Zones, we understand well that the security mindset in the business world is changing as more companies adopt IoT and BYOD strategies. We specialize in network security solutions that help organizations adjust accordingly.

Security isn’t just an afterthought for us – it’s a primary concern. We know better than anyone: If your network isn’t secure, your business isn’t either. That’s why we offer a host of services that are guaranteed to improve your security outlook for years to come.

When it comes to Network Optimization, our team of experts can do it all. Click below, and we’ll break it all down for you.

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