As a follow up to part 1, here are some basic first steps to securing home networks.

  • First and foremost, all data being transmitted through the remote network, wired and wireless, needs to be encrypted.
  • The remote network should be set up to keep work-related network traffic and systems separate from non-work network traffic and systems. Some home-use routing equipment already has this capability. It is typically called a "guest" network and does the job of separating network traffic. If not, equipment with this functionality is relatively affordable.
  • All networks should require a password to join. This is a must for wireless networks since the signal may be strong enough to access it from outside the home.
  • If the wifi equipment is broadcasting the wireless network name, and that function can be turned off, do it as an additional layer of security. This ensures a wireless scan will not see your network and only those who know what the network name is can connect.
  • Just like computers, routers, modems, cameras - basically all network devices - need security updates. Updates patch vulnerabilities. If the remote devices don't check for updates automatically, the user will need to periodically do it manually.
  • Whether purchased by the user or installed by the Internet service provider, modems and routers usually ship with the same default credentials (username/password). If these have not been changed, it must be changed immediately.
  • If the remote management feature on router/modem is set to "on", it should be turned off so that the device settings can only be accessed from inside the network.

This is a good launch point to secure home networks although there are many more requirements which could and should be added. This at the very least, is a good start.

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About the Author

Michael A. AliceaMichael has more than 20 years of working with a wide range of businesses and technologies and creatively working with teams and implementing solutions in regulated environments. See full bio here.

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