Simple WiFi Authentication

Written by Cassa Niedringhaus on September 28, 2019

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Although it might seem counterintuitive, SMBs (small- to medium-sized businesses) are the targets of identity breaches more often than their larger counterparts. In an analysis of 2018 data, in comparison to 2017 data, 4iq reported that cyber criminals have increasingly focused their efforts on small businesses, “resulting in a 424% increase in authentic and new breaches from 2017.” Unfortunately, as these companies look to streamline and grow, IT security can sometimes fall to the wayside. A breach can spell thousands of dollars in costs, in addition to customer loss and reputational damage.

Admins are spread thin while the threat of a breach looms, and they need to find the most efficient, effective ways to protect their companies. Simple — but secure — WiFi authentication for each employee is a great start.

WiFi Networking and Security

The network is a common target for bad actors. Once they crack into it, hackers can start to go to work on the rest of an organization. Protecting the network, then, is of paramount importance. The usual method of using a shared WPA key for WiFi authentication makes for an easy target for hackers, especially when the credentials float around the workplace on whiteboards and in emails.

Take, for instance, the recent report by CNET that a co-working company used shared WiFi credentials for all of the companies using its spaces, exposing the confidential records and transactions of those companies. The same is true of public WiFi networks, and although a shared set of credentials might seem like the most convenient route, it leaves vulnerable the information that companies seek to protect.

Safer Authentication with RADIUS

Using RADIUS to augment the WiFi authentication process is a superior method because it requires a unique set of credentials of each user, thereby allowing IT admins to create a more secure way to administer WiFi access. However, many of today’s RADIUS implementations can be both difficult to execute and also expensive. For SMBs constantly under fire, RADIUS might seem unappealing, even with its added security benefits.

RADIUS-as-a-Service gives SMBs a simple method for WiFi authentication. The solution uses a pre-configured, geographically dispersed fleet of FreeRADIUS servers, hosted in the cloud. That way, SMBs can reap the benefits of secure WiFi authentication at a fraction of the cost, with none of the work or the on-prem infrastructure required.

Because RADIUS-as-a-Service is a feature of JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, the single set of credentials needed for WiFi authentication can also be used for authenticating to Windows, Mac, and Linux systems; web and on-prem applications via LDAP and SAML; cloud server infrastructure; file servers using the Samba protocol; VPN networks; and more. JumpCloud can also apply multi-factor authentication (MFA) to RADIUS VPN connections for increased security. This single set of credentials makes it easy for IT admins to control who has access to what — and shut it off in an instant if necessary.

Using JumpCloud’s RADIUS-as-a-Service

Interested in learning about how you can easily shore up your company’s WiFi access? Try out JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, which is free forever for up to 10 users, or contact us for more information.

Cassa Niedringhaus

Cassa is a product marketing specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Magazine Writing from the University of Missouri. When she’s not at work, she likes to hike, ski and read.

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