Internet Routers – Your Security weakness in your Home and business Network
Your Wireless Router is the central component of your Network and the importance of its security is obvious. Just think about the type of secure sites you visit, Online banking, Social Networking sites as well as your personal and business information.
Predominantly we all rely on the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to setup our Wireless Router as part of our Internet, TV and Phone package. As part of this trust in our ISP Brand we believe that the router arrives up-to-date, secure and ready to go? WRONG!
Your Wireless Router is a very complex device and your ISP will want to ensure that you can plug in the device and get surfing as quickly as possible without any needed support from them. To do this your router will be setup as simply as possible with default settings commonly used across all of their routers. These default settings are commonly known, can be found on the internet and are not as secure as you would like them to be. It is also common to find that your router arrives in your home without the latest firmware/software, leaving known vulnerabilities open to be exploited.
And here you are, as a happy customer, excited to get online again and you inadvertently open up security vulnerabilities on your network. On top of this you have added a selection of the latest Smart Technology in your home, which you have made sure is fully up-to-date but you have left them vulnerable to an attack because your router is vulnerable.
So how do we secure our router? Here is an initial quick list of changes to make once your router has arrived which will get you started;
· Change Default Username and Password – Login to your routers console and change your default Administrator name and password as these are the first things any hacker will try to use.
· Wi-Fi Encryption – Change this to WPA2 using AES encryption and set a new complex password. This is the latest standard and most secure. You should also change your Wi-Fi password regularly, especially if you are using the same password across multiple properties.
· Change your Wi-Fi’s SSID – Standard SSID’s will highlight which ISP you are using and this will highlight which routers you are likely to be using. ISP’s will use a standard default username and password that a hacker will know, as well as any known vulnerabilities of your router. As a hacker, if you can scan an area and immediately see routers from a known ISP…..its easy pickings.
· Disable Wi-Fi Enabled Setup (WPS) – Do not use WPS, this system has numerous and well known security vulnerabilities and should never be used.
This is only the initial step into securing your wireless router but does cover the basic mistakes made by many internet users. Further Security Hardening is more technical and hands on and should only be attempted if you understand the technology and are comfortable doing so. Making a mistake here can stop your router/Wi-Fi working and therefore may need a site visit to fix.
If you would like to get someone to come and review your security, and who can provide a Security Hardening Service, please get in touch;