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You have probably heard about the latest vulnerability that affects most modern wi-fi networks.

The possible exploit is called KRACK.

The vulnerability is related to a discovered flaw in the WPA and WPA2 encryption protocols used by most modern wi-fi access points.

WPA and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) are also currently used as a security layer so only authorised devices can connect to your w-fi network

In simple terms, an attacker can adopt a man-in-the-middle position on your Wi-Fi network. They could force access points and client devices to reinstall a different encryption key.The KRACK attack then allows an attacker to intercept wi-fi traffic,.

A criminal could then not only decrypt network traffic from a victim's device on a WPA/2 network, but also hijack connections. In some cases inject malware or ransomware into unencrypted websites you are trying to visit (those not using SSL). Users could also be redirected to malicious websites.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Don’t panic. No, you do not need to turn off your Wi-Fi network. There have been no known attacks taking advantage of this vulnerability - yet.
  2. An attack would have to be very sophisticated using special hardware on-site. This limits the potential for concern.
  3. Disable the 802.11r protocol on your access point as it currently has a particular sort of vulnerability.
  4. Implement Best Practices.
    1. Your IT Support provider should already be installing the right firmware updates from your vendors as they become available. You must update both sides of the wi-fi connection - your "client" device (smartphone, laptop, tv, etc.) and the Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) you are connecting to.
      1. Note some clients Android 6 and Linux devices are more susceptible than others.
    2. Schedule a regular audit of your Wi-Fi network to ensure best practices are being applied.
    3. Enable Rogue Detection on your Access Points. This is a feature which detects and blocks devices pretending to be authorised.
    4. Separate Your Business wired network and your Wireless network.
    5. Implement RADIUS technology for more robust security authentication on your corporate network.
  5. Finally, until you are updated, only use sites and services that use HTTPS as they encrypt data from your web browser to the server and back.

 

“Never before in the history of humankind have people across the world been subjected to extortion on a massive scale as they are today.” That’s what The Evolution of Ransomware, a study by California-based cybersecurity firm Symantec, reported recently.

If you have any illusions that your company is safe from cyber-attack in 2017, consider just a few findings stated in a recent report by the Herjavec Group, a global information security firm:

  • Every second, 12 people online become a victim of cybercrime, totalling more than 1 million victims around the world every day.
  • Nearly half of all cyber-attacks globally last year were committed against small businesses.
  • Ransomware attacks rose more than an astonishing 300% in 2016.
  • Known corporate data breaches in 2016 include: Australian Red Cross, Telstra, Dropbox, JB HiFi, David Jones, Domino's Pizza, Snapchat, Tumblr.
  • The world’s cyber-attack surface will grow an order of magnitude larger between now and 2021.
  • In 2016, The Australian Federal Government estimated that known losses from cybercrime cost Australians more than $1 billion in 1 year.
  • There is no effective law enforcement for financial cybercrime in Australia today.

Clearly, your company’s information and financial well-being are at greater risk than ever in 2017. And you cannot count on the federal or state government or local police to protect your interests. That’s why I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you implement the following resolutions starting TODAY.

Resolution #1: Tune up your backup and recovery system. The #1 antidote to a ransomware attack is more frequent and up-to-date backup copies of all your data and software. Yet managing backups takes more than just storing a daily copy of your data. For one thing, if your business is at all typical, the amount of data you store grows by 35% or more PER YEAR. If your data management budget doesn’t expand likewise, expect trouble. What about important data stored in cloud solutions like dropbox?

Resolution #2: Harness the power of the cloud—but watch your back. Huge productivity gains and reduced costs can be achieved by making full use of the cloud. Yet it’s a double-edged sword. Any oversight in security practices can lead to a breach. Here are two things you can do to harness the cloud safely:

  • Determine which data matters. Some data sets are more crucial to your business than others. Prioritise what must be protected. Trying to protect everything can take focus and resources away from protecting data such as bank account information, customer data and information that must be handled with compliance and regulatory requirements in mind.
  • Select cloud providers carefully. Cloud vendors know that data security is vital to your business and promote that fact. Yet not all cloud vendors are the same. You can’t control what happens to your data once it’s in the cloud, but you can control who’s managing it for you.

Resolution #3: Set and enforce a strict Mobile Device Policy. As BYOD becomes the norm, mobile devices open gaping holes in your network’s defences. Don’t miss any of these three crucial steps:

  • Require that users agree with acceptable-use terms before connecting to your network. Be sure to include terms like required use of hard-to-crack passwords, conditions under which company data may be “wiped” and auto-locking after periods of inactivity.
  • Install a Mobile Device Management System on all connected devices. A good system creates a virtual wall between personal and company data. It lets you impose security measures, and it protects user privacy by limiting company access to work data only.
  • Establish a strong protocol for when a connected device is lost or stolen. Make sure features that allow device owners to locate, lock or wipe (destroy) all data on the phone are preset in advance. That way, the user can be instructed to follow your protocol when their phone is lost or stolen.

Resolution #4: Ensure you have the latest Security Technology Layers in place. The fact is that attacks are becoming more sophisticated every month. Do this at least:

  • Ensure all of your staff are regularly trained and tested on the latest threats that are designed to trick them on clicking on the wrong things. (It's just not email any more).
  • Replace traditional antivirus software with systems that monitor program behaviour.
  • Implement systems that block unusual web links (even in online advertisements).

Free Network And Security Audit Resolves Your Biggest Data Security Problems and Makes Your Systems Run Like A Fancy Swiss Watch

Ever asked yourself why some business owners and CEOs seem so blithely unconcerned about data protection? Don’t let their ignorance lull you into a false sense of security. If you’ve read this far, you are smart enough to be concerned. Contact us today at 1300-SENSIBLE (736-742) or info@sensible.com.au and we’ll send one of our top network security experts over for a FREE Network and Security Audit. It’s your best first step to a safe and prosperous 2017.

Wi-Fi has become a staple for millions of people, but one of the main problems that Wi-Fi users face is weak signal strength. Weak signal strength can seriously hamper your productivity since it results in slow connection speeds and a smaller range of coverage.

However, there are several things you can easily do to increase your signal strength and throughput:

1. Move your Wireless Router or Access Point to a Central Location

Distance is a major consideration when it comes to Wi-Fi. The signal weakens the farther away you are from the wireless router or access point.

Remember, WiFi signals hate water. They're also not too crazy about metal, mirrors, glass, brick, insulation, and human bodies. Keep your wi-fi equipment away from as many obstacles as possible.

The distance between the router and connecting devices, as well as the number of walls and floors in between, make a big difference.

In order to get even coverage throughout your home or office, you should always choose a central, high location for your Wi-Fi equipment - out in the open.

Mobile apps like Assia's Cloudcheck or Amped Wireless's Wi-Fi Analytics Tool let you walk through your office and identify dead spots, so you can figure out the best places to put your WiFi devices.

2. Change the Channel

Wireless routers and access points broadcast Wi-Fi on a specific channel. If you live in a crowded area with many Wi-Fi networks, like an apartment complex, then signals from other wireless routers or access points could interfere with the signal from your own.

To avoid this problem, use a less crowded channel. You can change the channel by accessing your wireless router's settings through a connected device. Many modern wireless routers and access points even come with software to help you determine the optimal channel to get the most out of your wireless network.

Mobile apps like WiEye for Android let you view all the wireless nets nearby to see what channels they're on. (Sorry, iPhone fans — Apple has banished WiFi scanners from the iTunes Store; you'll have to rely on a desktop app like WiFi Scanner for Mac or WiFi Channel Scanner for Windows.)

3. Turn on Security

Someone could be stealing your Wi-fi signal. They could be saturating your throughput so you miss out.

Lock them out with better security. Set up a password on your wi-fi router so that only authorised users/devices can connect to your wi-fi signal.

Ensure you are using the latest WPA/WPA2 security algorithm options that keep hackers from breaking into your network

Also, don't publicise your wi-fi Network Name to strangers. Configure your router and uncheck "Enable SSID Broadcast." You can still access your network, of course, but it won't be discoverable by those not in the know.

4. Check for interference from a nearby cordless device

Baby monitors, older cordless phones, microwave ovens and wireless speakers are just some of the common household gadgets that also use the most common 2.4Ghz wi-fi frequency. These can interfere with the wireless signal from your router.

Deal with the conflict by moving the router away from these devices and ensuring that no devices that could potentially interfere lie in a straight line between your router and the gadget you're trying to get online with.

5. Update the Firmware

Wireless routers and access points — much like the devices you connect to them — run on embedded, permanent software. This type of software is called firmware.

Updating your device's firmware can improve its performance. To do this, you need to visit the website of your router's manufacturer. There, you can download the router's latest firmware. You can upload the updated firmware into the router by using a connected device.

In addition to keeping the firmware on your wireless router or access point up-to-date, you also need to regularly update the firmware on your mobile device's wireless adapter.

6. Add Additional Hardware

You can also boost the signal by using additional equipment. External antennae and wireless range extenders can increase the range of coverage for your wireless router or access point. You can also use a wireless repeater to send the signal even farther.

If you are still having trouble, you should consider buying a newer wireless router or access point, since newer models have larger ranges and faster signal speeds.

7. Use wires when possible.

As fast as the newest WiFi standard is, a wireless connection still isn't as fast or reliable as a standard wired one. When possible, connect bandwidth-hungry devices that stay in one location directly to your router via networking cable, and save the wireless connections for the stuff that moves around.

Wi-fi devices are designed for only a small number of connections. Limit this number and the stronger speed you get out of it

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