The Power of Guest Wi-Fi For Business Security and Customer Satisfaction
How many times have you gone into a business or meeting needing to use the internet? Most of us have been there before. After all, we live in an incredibly connected world wherein we depend on internet access for communicating with our loved ones, staying in touch with work, and above all, maintaining access to important information of all sorts. Your customers tend to appreciate the ability to access the internet as much as anyone else. Take a look at some recent statistics:
- 64% of consumers choose a restaurant based on the availability of wi-fi.
- 62% of customers spend more time in a store if wi-fi is available.
- Businesses that offer free wi-fi to boost sales have a 72% success rate.
Here’s the thing: you can’t simply provide your wi-fi password for your corporate network. Why? Although it’s more convenient given you already have a corporate network setup and running, it’s simply not safe. Once you give out your corporate network login and password, you’re opening yourself up to a whole host of potential security risks.
Benefits of Having a Guest Network
Businesses must adapt to the modern-day and age where connectivity is key. Customers want to be able to access their email, social media, and other important services when they’re out on the go. If they leave because you don’t offer internet access, they’re bound to make that sale somewhere else that does. Here are some of the biggest benefits of having a guest network – aside from security:
- Higher customer satisfaction: If your customers can access a wireless network with minimal hassle involved, they’ll be much more satisfied, and in turn, spend much more time within your business. This is one of the biggest benefits that many businesses tend to overlook.
- Greater corporate network performance: You need your network to run optimally to power all of your hardware and software. However, if customers are regularly using your network, the traffic and bandwidth usage of all visitors will be on the same system as your critical business services – slowing things down.
- More marketing opportunities: You’re able to grow your email lists with accurate, up-to-date information because you can require guests to fill out a form or sign in through social media to access your guest wi-fi, which means you’re able to market more effectively.
How a Guest Network Makes You More Secure Against Cybercrime
Although there are many benefits, as mentioned above, the biggest advantage of having a guest network is the fact that you’re more secure against cybercrime. Here’s how it works:
- Your corporate network is segmented from your guest network: Your customers won’t be able to gain access to parts of the network that are used for corporate purposes – meaning all of the sensitive data and applications used on your corporate network are entirely safe. Plus, if a malicious infection or ransomware attack occurs on the guest network, your corporate network won’t be harmed.
- Your IoT devices can connect to your guest network: If you have any internet of things devices, such as smart TVs, security cameras, and even thermostats that require internet access, you can connect them to your guest network. Why? Hackers have been known to target these devices, and although they’re great to have, you wouldn’t want your corporate network to be infected because of them.
Take the Right Steps to Secure Your Guest Network
You don’t want either network to become infected with malware or any other sort of threat. Here are a few tips to help you secure your guest network:
- Change all default passwords on routers and modems, as well as the default network password.
- Monitor guest behavior to ensure you’re aware of what’s happening on the network, as well as give you insight into how customers are using it.
- Create an internet usage policy for guests, so they know what behavior and websites are prohibited on your guest network.
- Use a web filtering solution to enforce your internet usage policy in terms of preventing access to inappropriate websites.
- Install enterprise-grade antivirus software and firewall to keep your guest network safe against malicious traffic.
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