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Lessons From The World Cup: Wi-Fi Password Security

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Lessons From The World Cup: Wi-Fi Password Security

IT Security

Wi-Fi is almost as ubiquitous in this country as water on the table. Starbucks, McDonald’s, your local watering hole, home and office—all these places offer Wi-Fi for customers. Even the World Cup, the biggest media event in the world right now, has Wi-Fi. If you want happy and productive employees, clients and guests, you need to have Wi-Fi at your place of business, but don’t make the same mistake that they did at the World Cup.

Originally appearing in a local newspaper, re-published on The Register, there’s a picture of the multi-million dollar security center of the World Cup with a monitor that clearly displays the SSID “WORLD CUP” and password “b5a2112014” (brazil2014 with number substitutions) in plaintext on the bottom right monitor. Keep in mind that this is the center where security camera video feeds are monitored for an event with an attendance of over 2 million, 100k tweets per minute during matches and the world’s attention.

Brazil Fail:

brazilfail

If international professionals made a blunder of this size, surely it has to be difficult to have a secure Wi-Fi network, right? It’s not as hard as you think. Here’s how you start:

Security Algorithms: You have three options with most routers: Wired Equivalency Protocol (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2). Unless you have a specific device that requires a different algorithm (this will happen very infrequently), you want to use WPA2 because it’s the most secure

Service Set IDentifier (SSID): Quite simply, the SSID is the name of your wireless network. If you have a smaller office, don’t make the SSID the name of your business because that makes you easier to target. You also have the option to “Disable SSID Broadcast,” which means your Wi-Fi network won’t show up in the list of available networks—you’ll have to type it in manually the first time to connect.

Wi-Fi Password: Follow our Do’s and Don’ts of Password Security when it comes to choosing a password for your Wi-Fi network. Changing it can be a pain, but it’s worth it for the security of your enterprise in the long run.

Internet Connection: If possible, have a separate Internet line configured specifically for Wi-Fi Internet access to segregate your corporate traffic and basic Wi-Fi Internet access.

If you configure your Wi-Fi network using the above steps, it will be far more secure than most networks you currently connect to. Just remember, the security of your network is completely irrelevant if you plaster the name and password on the wall for the world to see.