Wireless technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate, connecting employees and devices seamlessly. However, with the increasing use of wireless technology comes the need for proper installation and maintenance to ensure network security. Whether you’re a business owner or a corporate IT professional, understanding the role of wireless technology and installation in network security is crucial for protecting your business from cyber threats and preparing it for the future.
Swift, reliable, and secure wireless capabilities are no longer an optional part of business, they’re a necessity. According to the Global Wireless and Fixed Connectivity Market Report 2021-2026, “demand within the wireless connectivity market is anticipated to increase rapidly during the next five years as data-hungry consumers and enterprise users both rapidly expand communications and usage of applications, content, and commerce.”
When it comes to WiFi engineering in buildings’ systems, many are digital, Internet-connected systems in place since the 1980s, presenting a systemic, industry-wide risk. Business owners are now not only responsible for the security and functionality of their network, but also for ensuring it is structured to support a more mobile future. Network security is important because it keeps sensitive data safe from cyber attacks and ensures the network is usable and trustworthy.
In the years since the COVID-19 pandemic, America has felt the effects of poorly secured networks. According to a report published by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a record number of 1,862 data breaches occurred in 2021 in the U.S. This number broke the previous record of 1,506 set in 2017 and represented a 68% increase compared to the 1,108 breaches in 2020. High profile exposures such as the 2022 Samsung and Twitter data breaches in July, and the Optus cyber attack in September, demonstrate that organizations of any size are vulnerable.
A robust WiFi network provides an increased level of flexibility, compatibility, and security for a business, whether it is retail, hospitality or manufacturing. But it is more than simple IT. Truly successful wireless integration begins at design and installation. IT professionals are not often trained on the larger, more complex nuances of wireless infrastructure. They have so much technology in place, but lack a deeper understanding of signal strength, power needs, roaming and more. Oftentimes, systems aren’t checked until they stop working and by then, solutions can be more complicated.
This is why it is important to ensure that robust yet flexible wireless infrastructure is properly installed and configured, with the latest security protocols and encryption methods in place. A trained wireless engineer must be involved in this step. What’s more, these systems must be regularly assessed and updated in order to maintain the highest level of performance and protection.
In 2023, workforce shortages and supply chain pains beg efficiency and technology to fill the gap. But you can’t utilize the technology without the right wireless infrastructure in place – and one that’s secure so your business doesn’t come to a screeching halt, or worse. While we have little control over lead time on parts and equipment, we can control our network vulnerabilities.
Utilize experienced WiFI engineers to diagnose the problem, design a solution and oversee the installation to completion. The ever-evolving needs of a business and ever-innovating technology available means flexibility is key for wireless engineering. Solutions must address existing operations while leaving headroom for future upgrades. For small businesses, that flexibility can mean the difference in staying in business or closing the door.
The future is wireless; but with increased connectivity comes increased risk. Business leaders must invest in proper wireless engineering and installation in order to succeed, both now and in the future. With the right configuration, wireless networks can be designed to provide a high level of security, while also creating future-minded designs ready to integrate the technology and needs of tomorrow.
Phil Pickett is the vice president of Engineering Services at Staley Technologies. Phil began his career in the mid-1980s as a POS technician with Business Machines Systems, later renamed Advanced POS