| By Becky Waring |
Small businesses tend to skate by the Wi-Fi security front; turning on encryption and changing the router password is about as far as many SMBs go.
But with sensitive customer and business data at stake, can you really afford not to take Wi-Fi security seriously? The answers are cheaper and easier than you think.
Why businesses can’t afford ‘home’ Wi-Fi routers
If you run a small business, chances are high you have an inexpensive Wi-Fi router designed for home use, rather than a true business-grade router with beefed-up security features. And it’s likely your router is configured with the default parameters it had right out of the box — if it’s secured at all.
The sorry state of small-business Wi-Fi security largely comes down to two factors: cost and expertise.
According to a 2008 U.S. Census report, around 95 percent of U.S. businesses have fewer than 10 employees; most of those have no employees — firms such as sole proprietorships and partnerships. These small operations typically don’t have the budget or in-house expertise for enterprise-class IT equipment and procedures.
But neglecting wireless security can be more costly in the long run. The loss of customer data, whether by accident or intrusion, often leads to a damaged reputation and even litigation. It can bring a small business down.