How important is it to have a guest wireless network?

………………….More important than you might think.

Most of us are used to surfing the web using Wi-Fi; whether it be a home, company or guest network. Many companies are realizing that they don’t want their clients, guests, or staff members surfing the net on a wireless network that is also tied into their company network. They are afraid of not being able to adequately control what those users click on, but also what they are looking at that might be objectionable. This is where setting up a “guest network” totally isolated from your core work server makes a lot of sense. A “guest network” is a great idea when you need to provide convenient internet access without sacrificing the security of your company’s network. Setting this up is simple and widely used in this day and age.

This is such a strong business now and in such high demand that many wireless device manufactures are laser focused on developing the right tools for this need. Did you know that many of these devices have some marketing data collection value as well? They can be used to push promos and advertisements to users, track where users are gathering in a location and how long they stay and how many times they visit. This feature admittedly is pretty big brother, but retailers love the data they are able to gather. Most guest systems simply give segregated internet access to the world at large, but these more advanced devices are growing in their popularity.

In this day and age of security breaches companies, large and small, must stay on top of the ongoing threats to their company data and implement stronger controls as new technologies are developed. Many government contractors, healthcare providers, and financial institutions fall under Federal regulations that stipulates some form of Wi-Fi segregation. I know we think “my guests wouldn’t feel like doing anything malicious to my network” or “people who just happen to be passing by won’t be interested in my network”. This is simply not true and can lead to disaster. What if a computer connecting to your private network is infected with some kind of malware (viruses), then you may be exposing your network to threats that far exceed anything the actual guest may pose. How would you like to have hackers from other countries perusing your Quickbooks company files, payroll data, or other sensitive information?

These risks can be greatly lowered by implementing a guest wireless network. The cost to implement such a network is usually quite low, and the risk you will be avoiding in doing so will greatly justify this action.

Please contact F1 Solutions today for more information on “guest wireless” systems or advanced wireless monitoring for marketing purposes

F1 Solutions
Security Team

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