Excalibur customers benefit from our legendary expertise when it comes to network security. If you’re not an Excalibur customer yet, we would still like to help. Network security is an essential part of running any business so everyone needs to know at least the basics. This post will walk you through some practical steps you can take to make your SoHo (Small office Home office) router more secure. We hope it helps!

You will need to be able to log into your router. The rest is purely configuration changes. Once you have logged into your router, explore the interface and find out where everything is. You won’t hurt anything by just looking.

First let us back up your current configuration. That way, if anything goes wrong you have something to fall back on.

1. Log into the administration panel of your router and select the option to back up your configuration.

2. Save a copy of your router configuration in case something goes wrong.

3. Copy it somewhere safe so there are two recovery copies.

The option to save your router configuration should also include an option to recover a configuration. It is there that you would load the file you just saved if you need to. If you follow the following instructions carefully, nothing should go wrong but when you’re running a business, you cannot afford to take chances!
Read this article through first, then make each change and save it before moving on to the next.

Username and/or password

Depending on the make and model of router you buy, you will be able to change the username and password or just the password. Whatever the options, change what you can to something complicated but memorable. This should be the first thing you do after plugging in your new router as most hackers know all the defaults.

Change the wireless password

If you use a wireless network in your building, change your WiFi password next. This is the password you have to enter when you want to join your network using a wireless device. Again, it’s a small thing in security terms but stops any potential access to your network. Make your WiFi password as complicated as you can while being memorable.

Change the SSID

While minor in its security impact, changing the SSID, or network name assigned to your WiFi networks is well worth doing. Make sure it’s not identifiable like ‘SmithsPlumbing’ for a little extra security.

Turn off guest networks unless you use them

While on the subject of wireless, some routers have the option for guest networks to allow access to the internet for visitors. While relatively secure, a good hacker will be able to access your internal network once they are connected. If you don’t need to allow guest access, turn this off.

Turn off uPnP and WPS

Universal Plug and Play and WPS, Wireless Protected Setup are both features that allow fast access to wireless networks. They are also a security risk that you can do without. Disable both uPnP and WPS on your router and connect via your new SSID and more secure WiFi password.

Turn off Port Forwarding

Most small business networks should not require port forwarding to be enabled. It is a legacy setting that was used to allow certain program access to the internet without being blocked by a firewall. Most firewalls are now intelligent enough to route traffic to the corresponding application without port forwarding.
These simple configuration changes can improve your small business network security significantly. If you would like to take that a step further, contact Excalibur today!

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