Limit access to your Wifi network to a specific group of trusted users and prevent any future data leaks or even worse!
Everything you should know about WiFi Security
You are probably aware that WiFi networks transmit data between two or more devices using radio waves, usually at the frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Everyone was able to tune the radio to some channel to listen to a radio show or music, and you can do a similar thing with WiFi, but you will need a particular skill set. If you have all the required skills, you can configure the WiFi to collect all the data transmitted at a set frequency.
There’s been an increase in cyber attacks lately, meaning strangers will try to send you malicious content that will allow them to see what you are doing online, steal all your passwords, or even works. In order to prevent that, modern devices implement a couple of different network security standards. The sole purpose of those security measures is to encrypt all the data that’s been transmitted, making it unreadable to anyone who manages to intercept it.
If it weren’t for the WiFi security, you wouldn’t be able to connect to any public WiFi network without being exposed to risk. Imagine connecting to a public WiFi network at an airport where hundreds of other people are also connected. Someone with a particular skill set could easily steal all your information, but that’s not possible, thanks to security measures put in place.
Network Security Key
A secure WiFi connection can only be established once a wireless client and the wireless network they are connecting verify each other’s identities. Those wireless clients can be smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.
The first step of security is setting up a security key. This will play the role of a gate that stops anyone from accessing without the correct password. Wireless network security keys are usually alphanumerical passwords, but security can be put in place without a security key. That type of security is called WiFI Protected Setup (WPS).
WPA2 vs WPA vs WEP
WiFi has been around for quite some time now, but there should still be more unprotected wireless networks than there should be. The Kaspersky Security Network did research, and according to them, around 25% of WiFi networks are still unprotected, meaning they don’t use any encryption.
These networks are usually called “open” networks because anyone with a device can connect to them without typing in the security key. However, there are other reasons. Anyone who is connected to the open network can see the activity of other devices. We need to stress more how not a good idea it is to use a public wireless network if you have something personal on the device. Your personal data can easily be stolen without you even noticing. Luckily, several security algorithms were created to prevent that, and the best ones are WPA, WPA2, and WEP.
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
WEP is a type of security algorithm for IEEE 802.11 wireless networks. These networks communicate in multiple frequencies, including 900 MHz and 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands. Wired Equivalent Privacy was introduced way back in 1997, and it had been the primary type of WiFi security algorithm until WPA (WiFi Protected Access) was introduced in 2003.
Traditional 64-bit WEP has a 40-bit key. Users share this security key, making it hard for big organizations to fix security problems. It was only a matter of time before the first WEP exploit would be published. It happened in 2001, and the FBI showed the public that it was possible to break into a WEP-protected network within minutes by using these tools there were roaming around the Internet.
Today, WEP is less popular within organizations and is used only around three percent of access points globally. Most modern routers won’t even allow users to use this option. Routers that do, show a warning message to inform users about all the disadvantages of using this security algorithm.
WiFi Protected Access (WPA)
WPA and WPA2 are security algorithms made by the WiFi Alliance to improve all the numerous shortcomings of the WEP security algorithm.
Today, around 70% of routers currently use WPA2, which the manufacturer sets as a default security option. WiFi Protected Access 2 relies on the AES block cipher. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) was approved by the NSA (National Security Agency), and it is a specification for data encryption.
Even though WPA2 is much more secure than WEP, it comes with some issues. The most significant problem with WPA2 is that it remains vulnerable to password cracking. This is the case only if users choose a weak password. In order to fix said issue, the WiFi Alliance made WPA3 at the beginning of 2018, and the certificate began later in June 2018.
WiFi Protected Access (WPA3)
WPA3 is an improved security protocol that promises much safer browsing and keeps your essential info from being stolen, even if connected to public networks. Users will forget about all hazards thanks to the WPA3.
Since this is still a pretty new protocol, only some modern routers support it, but not all. Take a look at some of the benefits WPA3-enabled routers bring:
Creating new passwords can sometimes be boring, meaning a lot of people decide to use the same old password for a couple of accounts. On top of that, passwords are usually something really simple and have no creativity, making them vulnerable to hacking. WPA3 will help you prevent this because it comes with a new exchange protocol that will protect you from the dictionary attack. These attacks usually target lazy passwords that don’t have a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Connect devices safely
Connecting to new devices couldn’t be easier, and that is all thanks to WPA3. Some devices don’t have a traditional way of connecting where you must select a network and type in the password. Instead, a device can connect to a network by scanning a QR code, using an NFC tag, or simply downloading information about the device from the cloud.
Common vulnerabilities for WiFi Home Security
Almost every household has a wireless network, and protecting it should be a top priority. Sadly, all major WiFi security types have some known vulnerabilities that a person can exploit with a particular skill set. This can be prevented if necessary security measures are put in place.
Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACK)
This is probably the most severe attack discovered back in 2016. KRACK, or Key Reinstallation Attack, makes it possible for an attacker to steal confidential info from all the victims in range. Even if the data was encrypted or presumed it was, the attacker will be able to read the information and exploit it.
KRACK is quite harmful because it affects all software platforms, including macOS< Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and OpenBSD. No matter which OS you are using, without protecting yourself from these attacks, you won’t be safe.
WiFi Security Tips
- Create a strong password: Regardless of the type of security you are using for your wireless network, it is recommended to come up with a unique security key that can’t be decrypted that easily by any known software. A good password is a password that is long enough and contains more than just lowercase letters.
- Keep your router updated: Your router has an operating system just like your phone does. There comes a time when a new update is available, and you should take advantage of the opportunity to update your router. By doing this, your network security will be updated, and some known vulnerabilities may be fixed. Usually, routers update automatically, but it’s recommended to check once a month if the process was done.
- Keep track of users: People are often quite generous and give their passwords to many people. This is a big mistake because you never know who they are going to share that password with. If a specific person gains access to your secure wireless network, it can do a lot more damage than you would ever imagine. To prevent this, keep track of everyone connected to your wireless network, and if you see an unknown device, remove it from the list and change the password!
- Use VPN for public networks: There comes a time when public WiFi is more than good for what we need it. These open networks can sometimes do more harm than good because you won’t be protected while connected to such networks. By using VPN, you will mask your trail and will make it much harder for an attacker to get into your device.
Is it worth investing in wireless network security?
Wireless network security should be your top priority if your company does a lot of business over the Internet. Nowadays, everyone uses wireless Internet, and with the increase in cyber attacks, you should immediately protect yourself. There are many different types of security algorithms for your router, and we always recommend using the best one. If you want to increase the security of your private wireless network, get in touch with the TechProComp support team, and they will provide you with all the answers you need in order to prevent any breaches in your home or business network.