Have you ever experienced setting up a new wifi network at home? Its enough to make you wish that you had a never heard of the term Internet, nevermind Security or Hacking.
Why don’t wifi network firewalls allow for simple wifi setup?
First you plug it in its power cord, and then snap the network cable into your home router and the new WiFi device, crossing your fingers that you have plugged everything in properly. The lights start blinking.. flashing randomly on and off… yellow, green, red.. no particular message is given back to you, the hapless user.
Next, you are instructed (on that magical enclosed piece of paper) to turn on your computer and connect to a strange web address (URL). If you are lucky, and manage to get that web page to show in your browser, then fun has only begun. Now you must start to actually configure that network….
Two things should jump out immediately, one – why do all of these firewalls/router/wifi devices require you to connect to them from a 2nd device? This device is almost always a computer.
First – Confusion:
By having a non-technical user (and even I admit most technical users) have to plug in a device in one place, and then begin interacting with that device on another computerr is confusing. First – connecting successfully (a connection address that often changes after the starting configuration settings have changed). Then – thinking about the setup of the device that is not the device you are looking out. Are you connected to the correct device? What do all of these strange questions mean? What is the optimal security for my network?
Second – A Huge Potential Security Hole:
Allowing the configuration of your core network security device be accessible via another computer, that means a whole set of security issues come into play. First – the most simple one – your configuration is completely available to anyone that can get onto your network. Just to point out, there are many, many ways that a hacker or bot can get past the basic firewall/router combination. Now that they are on your network, that can login directly, use a brute force attack, capture login credentials, or use the default username/password combinations that most devices come with (and aren’t changed by their owners.
Since the device allow a web browser or app to connect and configure (or misconfigure ) it, now it is open for the continous attacks that all computers are vunerable for. Whether its some small code buried deep inside it, eventually any potentail holes will be found and exploited to take over the device.
As most firewalls and routers aren’t actively patched by their owners, (when is that last time you patched yours?) , eventually most all firewall and routers will be compromised.
A Different Approach – TouchScreen User Interface on the Device:
A Cloud of My Own simplifies the secure setup of your home Wireless Network (wifi) in many ways, but one of the most obvious is the straight forward touchscreen interface build right into the device. The size of a smartphone screen, the device only allows security configuration from the device itself. This dramatically closes what is known in the Information Security profession as the ‘Attack Surface’ of the device. There is no need to worry about all of the possible issues , bugs , etc. that might allow someone to compromise (or hack / takeover the device ) Once they take over your device, they take over your network.
Add to a simple touchscreen interface directly on the wireless firewall, a straight forward a secure automatic configuration of the network and you have a secure, simple wireless network setup for you home.
Why don’t more wireless network firewalls have a secure touchscreen interface to provide for simple wifi setup? We don’t know. Hopefully, it will become a standard offering in the future. For now, sign up for “A Cloud of My Own” wireless network firewall here