A Wireless WiFi Shop Solution

May 1, 2020
Did you know there's a difference in WiFi connections for a business versus a home network? And, the type of network can seriously impact your shop's security.

May 11, 2020—Data is vulnerable.

As networks grow in size, security concerns also increase. Did you know that as a business, your network that connects systems, mainframes, smartphones, computers and tablets must be connected within an enterprise? 

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reports that simple wireless networks, or WiFi, lack security tools. These networks often do not have firewalls, content filters or antivirus and anti-malware detection programs. 

These systems are vulnerable to cyber security hackers who might access password information and crash an entire organization.

As ADAPT moves the conversation forward regarding how to prepare your shop for connected vehicles, repair shops and body shops cannot be prepared if they are not set up to receive and submit information wirelessly in the first place.

Follow these guidelines to keep your shop's wireless connections secure and your customer's data secure at all times.

No. 1: Keep Hardware Updated.

Go back to the basics and update your systems regularly. Hardware needs to be checked through routine maintenance, according to GCInfotech, an information technology provider for non-profit organizations, and small and medium-sized businesses. Check for firmware updates for the router, access points and other network components. Keep all of the operating systems on all machines up-to-date with security patches and fixes. 

No. 2: Leave No Ethernet Ports Exposed.

Do not leave ethernet ports exposed for someone to plug directly into. Do not have employees plug into these ports either because it could give out wireless access.

No. 3: Encrypt Data on Your Network.

If you encrypt wireless data, it prevents anyone who might be able to access the wireless connection from viewing it, according to the CISA.  WiFi Protected Access (WPA3) is currently the strongest encryption. 

No. 4: Connect Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

VPNs allow employees to connect securely to their network when away from the office. The VPNs encrypt connections at the sending and receiving ends, per CISA.

No. 5: Make Passwords, Identifiers Unique

A WiFi router will allow a user to protect the device's service set identifier (SSID)  and this should never be left at the manufacturer's default.Passwords to wireless connections should also be changed from the default setting because these are easy to find online. Periodically changing strong and unique passwords is the first line of defense against  cyber security attack.

A Definitions List: Wireless Tools

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) breaks down the definitions of key terms when it comes to wireless networks.

WLAN: Wireless local area networks are groups of wireless networking devices within a limited geographic area.

Client devices: This is one type of a WLAN that is a laptop or smartphone for example.

APs: Access points connect client devices wit a distribution system.

DS: A distribution system is typically the organization's wired network infrastructure.

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