How to Avoid Unmonitored Devices on Your Network

As a result of COVID-19, a rising number of people are working from home. With even more employees working remotely, you have a broader range of security concerns to think about. In particular, you don’t want them to bring unapproved devices onto your network, as that can result in larger problems for your network as a whole. 

Just as it’s important to physically distance, it is also important to distance your network from unapproved electronic devices that could pass an undesired virus via the network. Here’s how to avoid unmonitored devices on your network.

Unmonitored Devices

Essentially, an unmonitored device refers to any device using your network, but which you do not have access to, and cannot fully view, which can therefore be carrying any kind of virus or malware that could infect the system. In some cases, an unmonitored device could refer to a device that you can’t even see at all from your end, which is the most suspicious.

In order to protect the integrity of your network and the security of the connected devices, it’s a threat to take as seriously as possible, especially with remote work being so much the norm right now. So how can you avoid having any unmonitored devices on your network?

One of the most important steps to take is to segment your critical systems from the rest of the network. That means that you need to know which systems to monitor (your servers, and desktop computers), and which ones employees can use for their general phone usage. 

While smartphones are indispensable for communication, they are not always used for work purposes. As they are unmonitored, personal devices can be unsafe, so you might consider keeping them on a separate WiFi network, separate from any crucial systems in your network.

It’s not just smartphones, however; but any device that is not essential to running the network, or which carries important data, and is therefore one that should be kept separate and monitored as fully as possible.

What You Need

In trying to maintain your main, secure network, and knowing how to properly monitor devices and so on, it’s good to know what basic services you might need upfront. As we have seen, you essentially need to install a network with both monitored and unmonitored segments, and as long as you have that, the whole network will be safer, and more secure.

For that to happen, you will need to look at WLAN and WiFi access points, including implementing private and public SSIDs where possible. You can then whitelist any MAC addresses which are probably going to be critical to the running of the business, so that those aren’t flagged at any point. 

Then look into installing the necessary apps on those devices in order to monitor them remotely. Where employees are using smartphones, you can simply get them to log on to a guest network, so your unmonitored devices are taken care of.

You also need to bear in mind the following important point: if your employees know the WiFi code for the main, secured network, they could add any number of unmonitored, and consequently unapproved devices. You might consider stricter confidentiality with that information, and even consider changing the password on a regular basis.

As long as you can keep the authorized, and unauthorized devices separated, you can maintain a safer network. And if it all requires more expertise than you would attempt on your own, it’s advised that you reach out to an MSP for recommendations on how to implement a safer network, and to maintain it. With professional IT services, you can ensure your network’s safety and integrity, as you employ professionals to monitor your network and devices.