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Is Wi-Fi Security Top-of-Mind? It Should Be.

February 10, 2021

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What’s your plan for network security? Are you focused on other areas hoping your company doesn’t join the growing list of security breaches? With technology touching every part of our lives, it’s imperative that your organization is prepared to defend assets.

The Current Landscape
Multifamily owners and operators are taxed with providing connectivity options to satisfy tech-savvy residents. As if streaming entertainment and IoT devices weren’t big enough drivers to beef up bandwidth, the COVID-19 pandemic created an overnight surge on residential networks. Businesses moved to telecommuting where possible while classrooms were emptied in exchange for distance learning. Existing multifamily communities are likely to experience bandwidth issues when online productivity and collaboration tools such as Zoom take over daily communication. But bandwidth isn’t the only concern. Security and data protection should be top of mind for everyone.

Navigating Internet and TV providers is one of the biggest challenges facing multifamily owners and operators. Until now, the default has been to let legacy cable and phone companies handle the service. But that approach presents multiple problems. The traditional approach leaves multifamily owners and operators along with their residents at the mercy of the provider, awaiting days for installation only to receive limited direct access within the confines of residential units. Or, perhaps residents are instructed to contact local providers and negotiate service on their own. In either case, a critical layer of security is often overlooked.

Whether bringing in a new network partner or upgrading existing technology, it is important to evaluate security applications as well as future bandwidth requirements to ensure a flawless operation.

  • Residents are very vulnerable with “choice networks” (non-bulk communities calling a 800-cable company for ala carte internet) as well as bulk Wi-Fi programs with other providers.
  • Community staff is vulnerable when accessing confidential resident and company info.

The Dark Side of Technology
It is becoming more and more difficult to control where data ends up, and who can access. As multifamily executives seek technology to power business innovation and attract residents, it’s more vital than ever to safeguard data.

A few years ago, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) entered our vocabulary and brought awareness to the inherent flaws of Wi-Fi. Today’s security landscape is even more challenging with cyberattacks on the rise and predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 20211.

According to a Gallup®study, Americans are more worried about being a victim of cybercrime than being a victim of violent crime.

Most networks are unencrypted, meaning any device connected to Wi-Fi is effectively sending all data in clear-text, essentially leaving an open door for hackers to identify and extract personal information. And, we can’t assume that websites with an SSL certificate (https://) are safe.

Key Indicators Your Staff and Residents are Not Protected
– Your network uses a captive portal (sign-in page) to authenticate users
– Share Wi-Fi password amongst staff, residents and/or visitors
– Using a single SSID with no passphrase provides a breeding ground to “man in the middle attacks”

The surge in residential Internet access has created an open door for cybercriminals to easily capture private information. With security breaches on the rise and a spotlight on privacy laws, multifamily executives need to evaluate and solve security risks now to stop man-in-the-middle attacks, rogue access points and more.

Take a Proactive High-ground
Rather forced or welcomed, adopting a new network lightens the technology burden for residents and staff while opening doors for new profit centers.

Imagine… a world where your technology is always on and community wide. A world where residents don’t need a tech degree to on-board individual devices. BlueportiQ offers a fully integrated management platform. No more wasted time resetting Nest devices when a resident moves out. A truly portal-less solution that makes understanding MAC addresses a thing of the past and replaces it with simple OEM instructions for adding IoT devices.

When implemented right, secure technology is an essential driver in maintaining brand loyalty, attracting new residents and increasing revenue.


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