If You Own These Four Small Business Cisco Routers: It’s Time to Replace Them
A security flaw discovered in RV110W, RV130, RV130W, and RV215W Cisco routers creates significant vulnerabilities. Traditionally, these UPnP (universal plug and play) routers would receive security updates from the vendor. However, Cisco recently announced that it has no plans to release a security patch for the devices. As a result, the company recommends replacing the routers.
Security experts noted that the four devices fell victim to the remote command execution vulnerability. Improper validation of inputs triggers the vulnerability (CVE-2021-1459), which has a common vulnerability scoring system (CVSS) score of 9.8 out of 10. This issue affects the router’s management interface.
If you fail to replace the routers, you create an opportunity for a cybercriminal to execute code on the router. The remote attacker can exploit the device without authentication by delivering specially designed HTTP requests. In such cases, the bad actor assumes the root user status on the underlying operating system. As a result, it becomes easier to execute arbitrary code or launch a denial of service (DoS) attack.
Experts believe that replacing the routers forms part of a more comprehensive cybersecurity measure to harden network defenses. Failing to heed the recommendation is not an option, irrespective of company size.
End of Support
Cisco is not releasing a security patch because the routers are nearing the end of their working life. Additionally, support is ending for the devices. Although there are no known exploitation instances and proof of concept exploits, you should take risks posed by the security flaw seriously. If you need more time before replacing the devices, consider disabling the virtual private network (VPN) service. Doing so mitigates the risk of an attacker remotely exploiting this feature.
According to Cisco, you can determine the status of the VPN by opening the web-based management interface. In the Basic Settings, find the UPnP feature and tick the Disable box.
Benefits of Using a Business-Class VPN Router
A VPN router is a practical solution for small businesses looking to ensure secure communication. By investing in this type of device, you take advantage of a VPN tunnel that safeguards communication between two networks. The router can also handle secure connections for remote teams, irrespective of location.
Some manufacturers offer devices that enable your team to manage VPN functions centrally. It is also possible to configure individual routers to suit your specific needs. The ideal devices come with failover and load balancing capabilities. If you need more flexibility, opt for devices that run open-source software.
Doing so makes it easier to replace the router’s OS and create additional features. On the downside, this option is not ideal for all businesses. Thus, choose your router carefully.
Advanced routers support up to 45 tunnels and come with robust firewalls to filter traffic in both directions. They also set minimum password complexity standards and incorporate encryption keys. Vendors like Cisco offers wide-ranging VPN routers for small businesses. The devices are more affordable and secure. Some business-class VPN routers are easier to configure, while others require advanced tech skills to set up and manage.
On the other hand, mesh wireless network solutions maximize coverage using nodes and satellite modules. These modules and satellites expand coverage throughout your business premises.
How to Bolster WiFi Network Security
A business WiFi network is an essential component of doing business in today’s connected world. However, an unsecured network compromises your company’s ability to operate smoothly. Cybercriminals can launch denial of service attacks or steal sensitive business information. Thankfully, there are various ways to safeguard your WiFi network.
One of the effective ways to improve security is to keep your router’s OS up to date. Also, replace any routers nearing their end of life or support. By keeping the devices up to date, you take advantage of the router vendor’s security patches and bug fixes.
Additional measures include:
- Invest in a business-class VPN router with advanced security features
- Harden cyberdefenses by doubling your firewall
- Store the route in a physically secure area
- Employ advanced encryption protocols
- Eliminate unofficial access points
- Disable WiFi Protected Setup or WPS
On another level, it is crucial to ensure that your router’s firewall is active. Some routers require manual activation. The manufacturer may list the firewall under network address translation (NAT) or stateful packet inspection (SPI). You can find the feature in the device’s settings.
With over 35 years in the business of supporting and implementing technology for the SME market, and 6 years previously in Corporate IT and Voice. I have seen a great deal of change. The only common thread is I have always focused on the Business Wise application of Technology. We always try to look 5 years ahead of the current technology to make sure our clients are on the right track to meet current and future needs.