Should your Co-working Space invest in Network Management & Security?
Along with the benefits of having a more open work environment, the rise of co-working spaces has also come with a set of challenges. Unlike traditional office buildings where only one firm occupies the floor, a coworking space accommodates a number of different firms. This leads to a large number of people present in the office building. Not just that, but every firm may have an independent network. It increases the number of networks on a single floor and within the premises as a whole. This contributes to both network as well as security issues.
To understand the network management challenges and network security for coworking spaces, let us take an example. X, an upcoming coworking space, is setting up a new office in Delhi. It has a capacity to accommodate about 14,000 individuals and its clients would include a number of start-ups. These new-age businesses demand fast and secure networks, considering almost everything is done on the Internet now.
Looking at the number of people who would be using the internet service, a series of potential problems come up. Let us dig into the details.
To begin with, the wide office space at X would have to be covered with a wireless network. Once set up, the large number of users would put a huge load on the network server. In fact, many other smart devices such as printers and cameras would use the network to operate. This does not only reduce the speed but also creates congestion.
Network management for coworking spaces is necessary so all areas get proper connectivity. The internet connection shall be provided via different access points. A well planned Wi-Fi network ensures that various access points are available which the users can connect to. If one access point blows up, the traffic would be redirected to a different point, allowing seamless connectivity. However, this can potentially create a cluster of devices connected to a point, choking its bandwidth.
Apart from the issues with the network, problems with network security for coworking spaces may also arise. In a shared network, the spread of malware is easier and faster. It can disperse through simple links, phishing emails, videos, and even downloads. This problem becomes even harder to track if the coworking space has a policy that allows you to bring your own devices. For X, monitoring individual devices and checking for viruses shall therefore make the process even more cumbersome.
There is also an increased risk of intellectual property theft on a shared network. This could make X’s clients wary of trusting the organisation, which may adversely affect its reputation. Firewall protection and data encryption over the Wi-Fi network is a must for X to protect the data of its clients.
Security issues also arise when the Wi-Fi network is poorly protected. X is in need of a system where access is granted only to authorised users via login IDs and passwords. A separate registration portal for guest users would ensure that a log is created of any outsider who uses the network.
To provide their clients with the best network service and complete security, X may consider two possibilities. First, they could get in touch with their internet service provider and set up the connection. However, this would not begin to cover even half their problems. Troubleshooting and finally calling tech support would put too much pressure on the IT team and cause unnecessary delays.
The other way is to avail the services of managed Wi-Fi providers. Let us see the solutions that are offered through this option.
An advanced end-to-end managed Wi-Fi service is the perfect solution for X’s concerns. By providing a wireless network infrastructure as well as high-speed bandwidth for the users, it shall allow X to provide consistent connectivity to its clients. Moreover, the service comes with the benefit of seamless roaming across access points, resolving any network congestion and making internet access available in every corner. In case an access point malfunctions, the planning is done in such a way that no cluster of devices is formed.
From a security standpoint, installing a next-gen Firewall protection will keep the servers safe. Enhanced with inbuilt security features, it will extend support in securing the classified data of clients.
Moreover, setting up a single Service Set Identifier (SSID) for both co-workers and guests can go a long way. Granting internet access only via proper authentication adds to the security cover. This can be done via building a mechanism that generates IDs and passwords to ensure only those who have valid credentials are able to use the connection. To keep track of who all are on the network, a user management portal for the IT staff can be established.
All of this will together facilitate better network management for coworking spaces, reduce the chances of cyberattacks, and improve online privacy. The managed network lets an administrator deal with the Wi-Fi service and any further problems can be fixed almost instantly.
X’s clients will experience the benefits of faster bandwidth and non-stop connectivity, which will improve their overall experience. For X, this solution shall prove beneficial in terms of narrowing their focus on only one point of contact. They can avoid depending on more vendors. The Managed Wi-Fi service provider shall take care of all infrastructure and bandwidth needs by managing the various vendors and providing seamless service. Consequently, it will reduce X’s overall cost of setting up the network service.
Investing in network security for coworking spaces must be of primary focus. Spectra comes with the expertise to handle all network requirements at coworking spaces through managed Wi-Fi services. Read the full case study here to get a better idea of how Spectra provides the fastest connection in every nook and cranny.
As detailed above, the problems that can come up are innumerable. To tackle those, availability of experts takes a lot off the shoulders of the IT team, ensuring a better overall experience for all parties involved.
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