In Our Opinion...

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WiFi Password Security in the Office

If you have upgraded your iPhone to iOS11 you may have seen a new feature called “Share WiFI Password”. The gist of this new feature is that it allows you to share your WiFi password with a friend over Bluetooth.

It's as simple as your friend requesting the password and the owner of the WiFi password receives a push notification to “Share Password”. When accepted it will auto-populate the password to your friend’s iPhone.

However, this does come with a few perquisites such as your friend needs to be in your devices address book and both iPhones need to be running iOS11. 

This sound great in theory especially if you have a made complex password that you can’t remember and just want a simple way to get a friend connected quickly.

Whilst this may be practical for a home network, how does it stack up in a business setting when you may not necessarily want all your employees having access to the company WiFi.

Staff turning up to the office on a Monday morning with their mobile phones uploading the weekends videos and pictures can make a network unworkable for the first few hours.

If it is necessary for some employees to have access to the WiFi on their phones, there is a heightened risk this password can now be shared to other employees using this feature. 

Here are three ways to restrict unauthorized devices from accessing the WiFi.

MAC Address Filtering

Every single device on the planet with access to a network of some kind has what is called a MAC (Machine Access Code) Address. It's like a unique identifier that pinpoints a device and gives it a name no other device on the planet can lay claim to.

Most modern routers have a feature called Mac Address Filtering. The MAC Address filtering feature lets you create an 'allow' or 'block' list of MAC Addresses. Given that a phone only has a wireless network adapter, it's a table that tells the router which devices can connect and which ones can't. This is best way to restrict access to BYO devices in both a corporate setting as well as a home network.

Hide the Wifi Network

Every WiFi network will have an identifier called an SSID (Security Set Identifier), also referred to as the ‘network name’. The router broadcasts a transmission that contain information about SSID so users can locate the network on their device and make a connection. The broadcasting of this transmission can be turned off in the Router which effectively make the SSID invisible to devices. If a device needs to connect to WiFi then the network name and password need to be add manually to the device.

Reset the WiFi Password

By logging into the router and changing the WiFi password once a week it will effectively disconnect all WiFi devices. This will assist in disconnecting unauthorized devices that should not be connected. Then new WiFi password should then be granted to only authorized users.

Network security is critical for a whole host of reasons especially in a workplace setting. Mobile devices stealing bandwidth from staff trying to use the Internet to perform their everyday functions is just one of many.