Keeping Your Wireless Devices Secure

Keeping Your Wireless Devices Secure

In a recent survey of our users, 3 out of 4 told us that WiFi was the most important type of Internet connection to them.*  We know you rely on access to a fast and reliable WiFi network, but that network must also be 100% secure.

Wireless networks present some challenges when it comes to security. In a typical home setting, you plug in your wireless router and set up your own wireless network and password. You then use that password to connect your devices to the wireless network. That means your devices can access the Internet and data can be sent between them. In other words, your smartphone can ‘discover’ your Sonos speaker or Chromecast over the wireless network and send it instructions.

Within a multi tenant building where there is a managed Internet service (as delivered by providers like ASK4) the wireless network is a shared network, providing WiFi access for every tenant in the building.

This poses one significant wireless security issue:

If everyone is connecting their devices to the same wireless network, they will all be ‘discoverable’ on that network to everyone in the building.

That means  you could see and connect to each other’s devices over WiFi, presenting obvious privacy and security risks.

It is the responsibility of the Internet Service Provider to remove these risks.

Security Solution Part 1

The first solution to this problem is port protection. To simplify, this means configuring the network so that it isolates devices, allowing them to connect to the Internet but not with each other. This makes them ‘undiscoverable’ on the wireless network.

For a long time this solution has been sufficient. However, the limitation it imposes means that devices that rely on local wireless connectivity simply won’t work (e.g. Amazon Echo, Chromecast, wireless printer).

While port protection should absolutely be maintained (we do not expect individual users to be aware of or attempt to manage the risk themselves by adjusting device settings or disconnecting devices from the WiFi when not in use),

port protection is not the complete solution.

Security Solution Part 2

To overcome this challenge, ASK4 created 4Network. Winner of Innovation of the Year, 4Network provides users of a managed Internet service in multi-tenant buildings with their own private wireless networks. This means users can connect their wireless-enabled devices together in a private and secure way via a building’s shared infrastructure without the need for any additional hardware (e.g. routers), and without other users being able to ‘discover’ their devices over the WiFi network.

4Network forms a unique part of ASK4’s network infrastructure and has been developed by our technical team over a number of years in direct response to our users changing connectivity demands and the influx of WiFi connected devices, entertainment systems and infrastructure now available to tenants and accommodation operators.

A user’s personal wireless network works wherever they are in the building (it is not restricted to their room or the reach of one ‘router’), and can include any wired or wireless enabled device.

4Network is available to users as part of 4Connect-Plus.

Helpful links:

 

> How can I get 4Network

> How do I set up my device for 4Network

 

*ASK4 data, student survey, October 2017