Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” That statement couldn’t be further from the truth—but there is an opportunity that MSPs are missing in the Wi-Fi market.

If you think about the Wi-Fi market today, it’s an incredibly well-known and mature solution category, where most vendors offer highly similar products that provide a very similar set of capabilities. For this reason, it has become increasingly difficult for IT solution providers to meaningfully differentiate themselves in the wireless services arena.

So what’s the missed MSP opportunity?

Quite simply, it’s a Wi-Fi security offering that helps you stand out from the crowd in a me-too market. The Trusted Wireless Environment framework is a way to get there.

The Trusted Wireless Environment framework is a guide to building Wi-Fi networks that are fast, easy to manage, and most importantly, secure. The framework helps you defend clients from the six known Wi-Fi threat categories.

I challenge you to find a business of any size that doesn’t have Wi-Fi. Businesses spanning every vertical, and crowded public places like coffee shops, conferences, and train stations, are perfect places for a hacker to take advantage of the six attack vectors.

The 6 known Wi-Fi threat categories

Let’s dive into each of these threats to better understand how they impact each and every one of us.

  1. Rogue access point
  2. Allows attackers to bypass perimeter security. Attention retail owners! Hackers can plug into the cheapest access point they could get into the wire closet and hijack POS systems to reveal credit card numbers.

  3. “Evil twin” access point
  4. Lures users to connect to it to spy on traffic, steal data and infect systems. Online shopping? Hackers can trick you into connecting to their SSID. When you enter your credit card information at checkout, the hacker has access to it all and is ready to go sell it on the dark web.

  5. Rogue client
  6. Delivers malware payloads to the network after connecting to malicious access points. Your phone remembers Wi-Fi networks that you’ve connected to in the past. You could be bringing malware back to the hospital without your knowledge. Your phone is now considered a rogue client.

  7. Neighbor access point
  8. Risks infection from connecting to other SSIDs while in range of the authorized access point. Favorite radio station blocked at work? Connecting to a nearby coffee shop seems painless, but a hacker is just waiting for you to connect to Wi-Fi and get to work on accessing your network.

  9. Ad-hoc network
  10. Uses peer-to-peer connections to evade security controls and drop in malware. Always use corporate-approved secure network file sharing. Sending files via AirDrop or AirDroid creates security and legal implications that could affect your organization.

  11. Misconfigured access point
  12. Configuration errors that open networks to attack. Clients should leave it to you to set up and configure their Wi-Fi. Otherwise, they risk leaking private company data.

These threats are not new and have been around since Wi-Fi went mainstream 20 years ago. The threats are a reality of the fundamental nature of Wi-Fi: Anyone with a Wi-Fi access point, router, or smartphone can choose whatever SSID network name they’d like to broadcast. This means anyone can use these attack vectors to steal passwords, access files from various cloud storage accounts, intercept emails, install malware that monitors the camera and microphone inside your smartphone, and much more.

Join the Wi-Fi security movement

Simply offering your clients’ employees, guests, and customers internet access over Wi-Fi falls short. What they need from you is Wi-Fi that secures their wireless environment 24/7/365 while providing the scalability, performance, and productivity to drive the best ROI for their business. You need to deliver a Trusted Wireless Environment.

In 2019, WatchGuard started a movement dedicated to pursuing industry cooperation in building Wi-Fi security standards to protect everyone from these six known Wi-Fi threat categories into all Wi-Fi ecosystem technologies.

The Trusted Wireless Environment movement benefits all vendors, service providers, businesses, and consumers of Wi-Fi and seeks to solve this massive security problem with technology so that the weakest link in the security chain—the users—aren’t a part of the equation.

We’re dedicated to increasing the availability of secure Wi-Fi connections built on a Trusted Wireless Environment so Wi-Fi users don’t have to worry about their data being compromised.

Every signature we collect on our industry petition helps us partner with organizations such as the Congressional Wi-Fi Caucus, WifiForward, PCI Security Standards Council, Wi-Fi NOW, the IEEE, and Wi-Fi Alliance to name a few. These organizations help build security standards for businesses around the world and we want to join forces by collaborating with them to make this world a safer place.

To learn about the Trusted Wireless Environment framework and join the movement, visit www.trustedwirelessenvironment.com.