For businesses, smart Wi-Fi systems can offer a world of difference. To a large extent, small companies benefit more from intelligent Wi-Fi. These systems have features that consumer options don’t for a reason. Most home networks get little use out of capabilities like guest analytics and enterprise-level security.
One of the most overlooked benefits of smart Wi-Fi systems is advanced security controls that protect a business from cybercriminals. Data breaches, intellectual property theft, and malicious network activity often come with extensive and extended consequences. But enterprise-level security keeps the bad guys from getting access to your network and puts control back in your hands. Here’s how intelligent Wi-Fi’s capabilities can help.
Creates Separate Access for Customers and Employees
Letting customers, employees, and your critical back-office devices connect to the same network sets the stage for trouble. First, guests don’t need open access to every company device and network folder. Customers usually only want to hop on your Wi-Fi to check email, use an app, or go to a website. However, these seemingly innocent activities can leave your company’s network vulnerable to threats.
There could be malware on a client’s device that they’re unaware of. As soon as that smartphone or laptop connects, that malware could spread like wildfire. But if that same infected device connects to a guest network, it’s much easier to isolate the threat. A small business Wi-Fi solution with intelligent features can provide separate networks for different groups like employees and guests. It can also detect malware and quarantine the problem. That malware will never make it to your high-priority devices.
While staff members arguably need to access more Wi-Fi resources than guests, they shouldn’t be given carte blanche. Employees should be allowed to use the exact data and network resources they need to perform their jobs. By keeping your most crucial backend devices separate, you’ll protect them from problems related to personal gadgets and questionable behaviors.
Provides Continuous Network Monitoring
Cyberattacks and security breaches occur 24/7. Hackers don’t care if you’re busy crunching numbers on a spreadsheet or locking up your doors for the evening. As long as your Wi-Fi’s on, your network and everything that’s connected is a potential bullseye. IoT devices, like smart locks and security systems, are particularly vulnerable.
According to research, IoT devices are targets of 5,200 cyberattacks each month. Currently, there’s a lack of standardized security measures for all these gadgets. Different manufacturers and developers mean there are separate sets of software vulnerabilities hackers are all too keen to exploit. However, smart Wi-Fi’s artificial intelligence can monitor the entire network, including various IoT devices.
You can think of this feature as an enhanced firewall. It screens for suspicious activity and malicious content or programs, blocking or isolating these threats as they happen. The best part is you can see what attacks and harmful applications your smart Wi-Fi prevents. With the help of the system’s app, you’ll view reports of everything in real-time or after the fact. You can also manage and authorize legitimate activities the system may have miscategorized.
Helps Manage Employee Devices and Network Access
A bring your own device policy is a fine thing to have. Yet, it’s also challenging to control and implement with a standard Wi-Fi network. As long as employees have a network name and password, they can connect a new device before you know it.
Examples include smartphone upgrades and problems with company-issued technology that prompt staff members to use personal laptops. The main security risk is that these devices may be unprotected. They don’t have the same antimalware programs as the business’s tech and might already be compromised. Smart Wi-Fi controls let you manage BYOD device connections by restricting or granting access.
You can also set various permissions according to job function or title. It makes sense that a social media manager might occasionally use a personal smartphone to manage your company’s pages. However, a customer service agent would not. With intelligent controls, you could allow your social media manager’s phone on the employee network. In the meantime, you could also restrict other BYOD devices to public or guest Wi-Fi.
Turns Devices Into Motion Awareness Sensors
One way to secure Wi-Fi networks is to limit physical access to critical devices. These gadgets might include your modem, access points, and machines will full network privileges. Larger organizations often use keycard-controlled server or network operations center rooms to restrict access.
Smaller companies might not need this much technology. Yet, limiting and monitoring physical access to vital network devices is still necessary. Intelligent Wi-Fi systems let you get more than one purpose out of your connected equipment. You can enable motion detection on them to monitor and respond to physical security breaches.
These potential breaches can occur during or after business hours and come from inside or outside your location. The motion sensor feature will alert you to possible devious activity as long as the devices are connected. For instance, you could have all your vital equipment in the back office with a smart lock on the door. That lock will also detect motion near the entryway. You’ll know when someone is there when they shouldn’t be.
Keeping the Bad Guys Away
The damage can be long-lasting when the bad guys gain access to your company’s network. Survey research shows that 55% of American consumers are less likely to frequent a business that has been breached. Small companies’ networks are often more vulnerable because they can be less protected and easier to attack.
Nonetheless, smart Wi-Fi systems give business owners a way to fight back. Features like network access control and 24/7 monitoring help close some of the security loopholes that conventional Wi-Fi creates. Whether network threats come from inside or outside your organization, AI and management controls are there to guard against them.