Euroroute Network Solutions
5 key security considerations for CPE devices
Customer premises equipment (CPE) devices are the endpoints that connect to the internet in residential and small business environments. Examples of CPE devices include routers, modems, gateways, and access points. These devices are the first line of defence in securing a network and protecting connected devices from cyber threats.
Euroroute Network Solutions provide an end-to-end no-touch CPE order fulfilment solution that is scalable and suitable for ISPs of all sizes. We partner with AVSystem to deliver cloud-based access control and management systems (ACS) to support large-scale deployments and in this blog we look at 5 key security considerations for CPE devices.
1. Firmware updates
CPE devices are essentially small computers that run software called firmware. Manufacturers release firmware updates to fix bugs and vulnerabilities and to add new features. Hackers often target outdated firmware with known vulnerabilities to gain access to a network. With Euroroute’s mass remote device management solutions, ISPs can ensure that each device has the latest security patches and firmware updates. ISPs can also monitor for potential security threats reducing the risk of security breaches to protect their customer’s data.
2. Strong passwords
CPE devices typically come with default usernames and passwords that are easy to guess or are publicly available on the internet. Cybercriminals can use this information to gain access to the device and the network it is connected to. It is good practice for ISPs to advise end users to change the default password to a strong, unique password. The password should be at least 12 characters long, with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, users should avoid reusing passwords across different accounts.
3. Network segmentation
Network segmentation is the process of dividing a network into smaller sub-networks, called segments. Each segment has its own security policies and access controls, making it more difficult for an attacker to move laterally through the network.
CPE devices can support network segmentation by creating virtual local area networks (VLANs). VLANs allow users to isolate different parts of the network from each other and specify the type of device that can access it. For example, a user can create a separate VLAN for IoT devices and restrict their access to the internet.
Segmenting the network provides additional layers of security by creating logical barriers between different devices and networks. As an example, network owners in a home or business environment, can separate guest networks from the main network and limit the traffic between the two. This reduces the risk of unauthorised access to sensitive data.
4. Firewall and antivirus
CPE devices typically have built-in firewalls as a security measure to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. Correctly configuring a firewall as to an organisations specific policy is crucial to its effectiveness in protecting the network.
It is also recommendable to install antivirus software on all devices connected to the network to protect against malware and viruses. Antivirus software should be updated regularly, and scans should be conducted frequently to identify and remove any malware.
5. Logging and Monitoring
Logging and monitoring are essential for detecting and responding to security incidents. Enable logging on the CPE device to record events such as login attempts, changes to settings, and network traffic.
Monitoring the logs helps identify potential security incidents, such as unauthorised access or suspicious network activity. Having a robust alert system in place to notify network engineers of any irregular patterns of activity can reduce security vulnerabilities.
Securing customer premises equipment (CPE) devices is crucial for ensuring the overall security of a network. By considering factors such as firmware updates, strong passwords, segmentation and firewalls, network operators can minimise the risk of cyberattacks and protect their customers’ sensitive information.
Euroroute Network Solutions offer a no-touch fulfilment solution, which includes pre-configured router and modem distribution directly to homes and businesses nationwide, ensuring that devices are set up securely from the start. We are the authorised distributor for AVM Fritz!Box range of products that offer built in features to ensure that your network is safe from potential threats.
Implementing robust security measures and working with a reliable partner provides a strong foundation in safeguarding networks using CPE devices and its users’ data.