Is Your Small Business Router Priming You For Disaster?

Computer network router with cables plugged in

Network routers are the essential but unheralded workhorses of modern computer networking, yet few business (and home-office) users realize they are computers, with their own operating systems, software and vulnerabilities. Is your network router going to be the downfall of your business or organization?

Using a less that adequate network router to power your business could leave your organization routed for disaster. And, relying on a weak router like the ones made specifically for home use to protect your business computer network might be the most expensive mistake your organization ever makes.

Here’s why:

Most home (consumer-oriented) Internet routers have serious security flaws, with some so vulnerable to attack that security experts recommend that they should be thrown out.

As noted by Micheal Horowitz , a computer security consultant who specializes on router security, “it is a mistake to use a consumer router”.

The big reason is that consumer-oriented router security is not acceptable.

To quote Mr. Horowitz, “…the number of mistakes/bugs on your every day router is stunning. The people who create router firmware are not very good at their job. Not only are there lots of bugs/flaws, but many are big glaring bugs. The types of bugs that happen when developers don’t care. Or, are incompetent”.

Note: firmware is the software that is the operating system for a router.

If you want some evidence of the plethora of bugs in routers, there is more information here. Be warned, it is a very long list.

Furthermore, Horowitz adds that “[I]f your router is given to you by your internet service provider [ISP], you don’t want to use it either, because they give away millions of them, and that makes them a prime target both for spy agencies and bad guys.”

A Consumer Router Provides Poor protection for your office

Many routers have massive security flaws both at the software, and the underlying firmware levels which provide thousands of ways for hackers and cyber criminals to bypass a router’s “security” and break into a computer network.

Once hackers are in, anything goes. They can steal client data, upload spyware, and even empty bank accounts. A router alone is not enough to protect your firm.

A Basic Router Is Wasted time and money

A network has to be managed to stay fast and reliable. Most routers, though, do not have management tools. When the network slows or goes down, it’s hard to know why or how to prevent it from recurring.

How much money does your firm lose when the network goes down? Every hour of downtime is another billable hour lost for the sales people in your office. How much revenue does that waste in a year?

A Consumer-Oriented Router Puts Client data at risk

Every business, large or small, is required to protect client data. But is a router enough? Most of them cannot block hazardous websites, filter malicious emails, or stop network attacks.

In addition, relying on one for security puts your organization and your clients at serious risk because:

  1. A compromised router can spy on you. When your network router is under an attacker’s control, they can stage what’s called a “man-in-the-middle” attack.
  2. Compromised routers can allow an attacker to alter unencrypted data or send your employees who are browsing the web to fake websites masquerading as often-used web-mail or online-banking portals.

Safe and Reliable Networks Made Easy

Managed computer network security protects and manages your network so you can forget about technology and focus on running your business or organization without unnecessary distractions.

Made for small – and medium-size offices, managed security is an affordable solution with rock-solid protection offerings. It has simple and automated features that protect your office without the hassles of an expensive enterprise product.

Network Segmentation

Commercial routers intended for small businesses have the ability to separate modems and routers provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Spectrum, Grande, AT&T, Cox etc., from the main computer network.

So, instead of the normal practice where many so-called “gateway” units, often supplied by ISPs, act as both the router for your internal network and the gateway to the Internet, we can keep them separate.

Troubleshoot less and bill more

Solving network problems can cost your small organization or business resources and hours of time. Managed security makes it easy to pinpoint the cause of network trouble, so you can solve problems fast. Now you can minimize disruptions and focus on growing your customer base.

Advanced granular functionality also allows your organization to finally change over to a lower-cost, feature-rich, and reliable VoIP phone service without having to worry whether it will annoy vendors, partners or clients.

Keep staff focused and productive

The Internet gives your staff an endless number of ways to waste time. A managed security option can remove these distractions by blocking websites individually or by categories, such as “social networking” or “video streaming”. You can also track and monitor web browsing to make sure everyone stays safe and on-task.

Work safely from anywhere

Our managed security solution includes a dedicated firewall appliance that is an all-in-one solution, so you do not have to pay extra for features like Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels. This gives your staff a secure connection to the network even from home and on the road. Now you can save time and increase productivity without adding to your costs.

Daily updates for peace of mind

Due to the increasing sophistication of cyber threat actors, and the rapid rate at which software bugs are now being disclosed, many network appliances today need to be updated constantly, and sometimes manually, to stay secure.

When a hacker discovers a new way to break in, the hole is not fixed until the manufacturer of the device issues a patch and your team applies it. Who has time for that, especially in a small organization without a dedicated IT person?

A managed security service will ensure that your devices receive updates every day automatically.

With continuous updates and patches applied to your network devices, the latest tactics for hacking, malware, and spam are blocked hands-free, so your staff stays focused and your network stays safe.

In conclusion, we totally agree with Michael Horowitz that the most important decision when buying a router is to get one with professionally written software.

And that’s where we come in. We can save you untold headache from trying to understand all the technicalities involved in choosing a great router to power your business, or in replacing the one you have that is not getting the job done.

To get started on making sure you can focus on running your business or organization without the distraction of worrying about whether your users, computers, network, and devices are secure, contact us today at (512) 814-8044 to schedule a complimentary assessment of the state of your computer network security.

You can also use this form to send us a note.