As enterprise companies are adopting coworking and flex spaces at large, there’s one big and important topic we need to discuss – Network Security in shared workspaces. Let’s get right into it:

Never Share WiFi Passwords Publicly!

Seriously, you must stop sharing passwords publicly. It’s not good. Even if you don’t offer space to enterprise customers, your members are still professionals who deal with a lot of sensitive information. They come to a coworking space because they are professionals looking for a professional space. However, having a publicly shared password where everyone can get on the WiFi and just exploit the network is not a good solution. It opens the door to countless hacks and security concerns that can seriously hurt your members and your business as well.

The good news is that there is a simple and very cost-effective solution! Which, by the way, also comes with many other benefits.

Network Management System for Coworking Spaces

We recently enhanced our OfficeRnD Flex integration with one of the industry-leading network security systems for coworking spaces IronWiFi, and took it to a whole new level. The integration allows coworking and flex spaces to:

  • Enhance security with unified authentication across your network and member apps with secure synchronization between OfficeRnD Flex and IronWiFi. Members will enjoy a branded login experience using the same credentials for their mobile app, member portal, and network access.
  • Provide enterprise-grade security via vLans to members in dedicated offices and spaces.
  • Track actual member presence providing valuable insights to optimize your Flex space for billing or monitoring purposes.
  • Automate day-pass usage for members providing a hassle-free experience for operators.
  • Collect leads using visitors’ information joining the provisioned Guest network provided by the network management system.

In a nutshell, by using a dedicated network management system, you can stop giving WiFi password cards to new members or guests, write the password on the wall or share it in the member portal.

Members will be able to securely log into their corporate vLan with their member portal credentials and roam freely between your locations. Guests will be able to login into the guest network and become leads. Everything will work just automagically.

OfficeRnD & IronWifi Integration

The OfficeRnD integration with IronWiFi empowers Flex space operators to effortlessly connect RADIUS-based networks with OfficeRnD Flex, unlocking a new level of efficiency and user experience for members. IronWiFi‘s cloud-based platform is compatible with dozens of Wi-Fi vendors including Cisco Meraki, Ubiquiti Networks, Ruckus, and Aruba.

We spoke about the above IronWiFi features in more detail in our first launch article covering the IronWiFi improvements, and are thrilled to announce additional functionality operators have to manage their networks.

Our newest feature releases VLAN Management and Hotspot 2.0 can further enhance the member Wi-Fi experience!

  • Simplify VLAN Management – easily administer VLAN assignments for different types of network traffic and improve network security.
  • Enhance onboarding with Hotspot 2.0 – providing automatic network authentication and secure credential storage, eliminating password-sharing risks, and delivering a seamless WiFi experience for your members.

If you are interested in trying out these features for IronWiFi reach out to us at [email protected] and we would be happy to help you get set up and walk you through the process.

You can check out a video overview of the new functionality here:

Simplify VLAN Management

VLAN management allows operators to manage VLAN assignments for different types of network traffic. The VLAN tagging functionality, available in OfficeRnD, is designed to address the two main use cases operators are facing when managing their WiFi network with VLANs. You can check out a help article that covers the usage of VLANs here.

  • Use Case I: Tag the traffic of a group of members with the same type of membership. This scenario is ideal for coworking or flex members whose traffic should be separated from guests and other members.
  • Use Case II: Provide a unique VLAN tag to each company in your space. Whether they occupy one office or have multiple memberships, each company gets its own unique tag.

VLANs can be configured in the Iron Wifi integration sections or imported with a CSV Import in the Import section. You can check out our help article on importing VLANs here. Operators also have the ability to automate VLANs assignment for Use Case I and assign VLANs manually within a company to address Use Case II.

Enhance Onboarding with Hotspot 2.0

Hotspot 2.0 is a protocol that enables seamless and secure authentication and roaming between Wi-Fi networks. It offers several benefits for coworking space WiFi networks, including ease of use, enhanced security, and improved WiFi performance. You can check out our help article on Hotspot 2.0 here.

Hotspot 2.0 Operator Advantages:

  • Hotspot 2.0 eliminates the need for users to manually connect to a Wi-Fi network, which can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Instead, devices can automatically connect to the network when they are in range, providing a seamless and hassle-free experience for users.
  • Improved security – Hotspot 2.0 uses WPA2-Enterprise encryption, which provides strong protection against unauthorized access and eavesdropping. It also offers additional security features such as device certificates, which help to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.
  • Hotspot 2.0 can provide faster and more reliable connections than traditional Wi-Fi networks. This is because it supports multiple channels and frequencies, allowing devices to automatically switch to the best available connection.

Overall, using Hotspot 2.0 for a coworking space Wi-Fi network can be a smart choice, as it can improve the user experience, enhance security, and boost performance. However, it’s important to ensure that your network infrastructure is compatible with the protocol and that your users’ devices are capable of using it.

Let us know what you think!

By leveraging the power of IronWifi’s advanced security features, you’ll be able to ensure that only authorized users are able to access your network. Your members’ sensitive data will be better protected!

Have questions or thoughts about the IronWifi integration improvements? As always, leave us feedback on this announcement, or reach out to us via email at [email protected]

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".