In our modern work culture, the desire to be connected and remain connected is very strong. Wi-Fi hotspots make this easy — but not without a cost.
These common and open networks endanger your company’s data security for several key reasons.
Many Wi-FI hotspots have absolutely no form of encryption or utilize WEP. The weaker the encryption is, it is more susceptible to cyber security breaches and attacks.
Wi-Fi hotspots often have widely shared passwords, or even worse, absolutely no password authentication, providing unbelievably easy access to cybercriminals.
Great number of employees aren’t aware of the Wi-Fi hotspot risks. They assume, if it is an obligation to login to a browser the connection would be secured. Unfortunately, it is not always the case.
Untrusted networks are susceptible to a host of different attacks. These include:
Hackers can spy on, intercept or alter employees’ outgoing data, including important emails and security credentials to your business network – and use this confidential information at their leisure.
Using readily available tools, hackers can capture packets of data passing
through the network and from these packets, steal admin passwords, credit card numbers and login credentials.
With seemingly legitimate network names, hackers can trick employees into connecting to a rogue Wi-Fi hotspot.
Once this happens, they have access to all the account information and data employees enter and transfer online.
If employees have enabled file-sharing, hackers can install malicious software on their computers and then use this software to capture usernames, passwords, files and email exchanges — long after they’ve left the hotspot.
Hackers use this small, portable device to generate spoofed sites. So while employees may believe they’re safely browsing on an HTTPS encrypted website, they’re actually handing over sensitive information.
There are a multitude of reasons why Wi-Fi threats are here to stay.
Today almost every coffee shop, airport, hotel, city square and train offers public Wi-Fi. And those that don’t, will soon. In the coming years, the number of smart cities are projected to grow – exponentially.
IT managers no longer have a static endpoint surface to protect. As more employees enjoy flexible BYOD policies, more organizations must surmount frequent and varied security threats.
The use of public Wi-Fi is nearly universal. In fact, we are so driven by our need to remain in contact, that many people say one week without Wi-Fi would leave them grumpier than one week without coffee.
Most VPN providers require users to actively connect for secure Wi-Fi browsing, however: