Improving router security

August 19, 2014 |

Zndet in Six ways to secure your vulnerable network router  sets out some very sensible steps that any organisation who is interested in proper data security to implement.

The 6 ways are, without slides:

Don’t use the default login information

It’s nearly always impossible to find a router’s default username and password online, depending on the brand and model. This means you can connect to the network, or tap into the router settings and lock out anyone from the network — even the owners. Worse still, hackers could monitor the traffic going in and out of the router, such as passwords and credit card information.

Change the default settings at the earliest opportunity with a strong username (if possible) and password.

Set the wifi security to WPA2

WPA2 isn’t perfect, but it’s the best solution outside of the enterprise. It allows you to set a strong password — with letters, numbers, and other characters — that can be near-uncrackable to attackers. The stronger the password, the harder it is for anyone to jump on your wi-fi network.

Set a list of ‘approved’ devices

Every networking device has a MAC address, which uniquely identifies that device. By setting the MAC Address Filter, it means devices with pre-set MAC addresses can join the network — even if a password has been set. This means you can set only your smartphone, notebook, and other devices to the network, and no other device can join — even if they have the correct wifi password.

Keep your router’s firmware up to date

Updating the software for your router on a regular basis squashes known security bugs and vulnerabilities. These patches not only offer fixes, but also periodically you may get new software features that can enhance your network’s security. These firmware patches are generally available from the router manufacturer’s website.

Disable remote access, UPnP

Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP) has been criticized by the security community for allowing bugs and security flaws that can give unauthorized access to networks. Disabling UPnP can mitigate these attacks.

Also, if you have remote access to your router, disable this. It’s yet another vector in which attackers can try to gain access to your network. Very few people, unless you’re an enterprise network administrator, need remote access to networking devices.

Disable guest access

Some routers provide guest access. While this function often separates out your home network and your guests who use the temporary access, some hackers have been able to tunnel through the security wall into other parts of the network. If you really want to keep out people who shouldn’t be on your network, disable this feature.







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