Network Security: First, Middle and Last

We had the fun privilege this week of doing a security check for a restaurant.

We have agreements with banks, credit card processors and more to analyze a network for security issues or make changes to a client’s network because of a new point of sale system to be installed or modifications to existing ones.

The Restaurant’s Network

It was a simple restaurant, 5 workstations, a router and on-screen credit card swiping.

The meeting was to discuss security, and how to implement it in a manner that doesn’t impact the business. I arrived early with the credit processor and sat down.

Gaining Entry to the Network

Within a minute I had on a Samsung Tablet, logged into his wireless, logged into his router, cataloged his entire network, logged into the music system and started playing “The Pinacolada Song” through the overhead speakers.

With the next two minutes, I logged into the into the point of sale computer, copied the outstanding credit card batches report, locked all the workstations, and had the HP printer print out the lyrics to “I’m a little teapot.”

By the time the manager sat down, the network was in our total control with the ambiance now the melodic sounds of Rupert Holmes which were heard throughout the restaurant.

Complete Takeover: Under 5 Minutes

Total time, 4 minutes. Complete network take over without any advanced tools.

As I explained this in front of his credit processor, I could see the blood leave the face of the manager. And to show I truly did have control, I changed the music to “The girl from Ipanema.”

You could hear their collective jaws drop as they hit the table.

What You Need for Network Security

Over the next hour, we talked about securing the network using Sophos Firewalls, Ubiquiti Wireless Access, and a Cisco switch to VLAN everything together. Proposal accepted in FULL.  

Security is no joke, and it should be the first thing you consider when designing a network. It’s not a burden when it protects what you have, your clients data and can keep your business working especially when the banks can giveth and taketh away your credit card processing ability. Contact us today if you’re interested in knowing how secure your business network is.

Why Restaurants Need WiFi

If your restaurant wants to survive, it needs wifi.

When it comes to selling more restaurants need to attract more clients or high-priced clients. How does a business do that? Business clients, high spenders, people that will spend hour after hour sitting and ordering, not just one thing, but many things.

How does a hospitality facility do that? Good wireless.

Wifi is Now Inexpensive

Wireless has come a long way in the last couple of years and it is extremely inexpensive. Vendors such as our preferred vendor Ubiquiti offers a captive portal for restaurants to also help generate marketing data. For a client to use their wireless, they need to sign up, like or add a page from their website to social media. This helps with mailing lists, mailers, and helps demographic data to be compiled.

In the past, it used to be terribly expensive, but now for easily under $1000 a business can establish powerful access points, gateways, and switches which are all cloud controlled and accessible on any device.

Wifi is Now Secure (When Setup Properly)

How secure is it? Very. Many wireless isolates their clients, and VLANs the traffic making it nearly impossible to snoop and you can have multiple networks on a single managed switch without any extra cost. By isolating it out it makes it PCI compliant allowing the credit card devices to be on the same wire as the wireless network.

As a user who is mobile, I purposely patronage businesses that have wifi and will continue to do so into the distant future.

Want to learn more about Wifi installations and how quickly they can be set up? Check out our blog about Ubiquiti wifi and how we rigged a full hotel for high-speed wifi in less than 8 hours. Then make sure to contact us.