Secplicity – Security Simplified

SMBs Need to Stop, Drop and Secure Their Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

If you’re a company that provides public Wi-Fi access for customers – or if you’re a member of today’s mobile workforce – this is not a drill! For most modern businesses, public Wi-Fi hotspots are a necessity, and their business benefits go far beyond merely providing connectivity to customers. SMBs in particular can grow their businesses through the positive guest experience and treasure trove of marketing data that hotspots can provide, but many are at risk of getting burnt by failing to provide a truly secure Wi-Fi environment.

It’s no secret that there are a host of cyber threats designed specifically to target public Wi-Fi networks, as they’re easily-accessible for anyone to join. For SMBs that come under fire as a result of cybersecurity incidents involving sensitive internal and customer data, it can be extremely difficult to recover. Ryan Orsi, director of strategic alliances and Wi-Fi expert at WatchGuard, recently shared his viewpoint on this topic with Inc. in an article on the perils of unsecured Wi-Fi networks for SMBs. Here’s a brief excerpt from the article about man-in-the-middle attacks, just one of the hotspot threats most SMBs face today:

“Network sniffing alone generally isn’t enough for hackers to get what they’re after. Most websites and applications that require PII are encrypted over HTTPS, a secure version of the code computers use to communicate with each other.

Attackers can bypass HTTPS by using a man-in-the-middle device (basically, a malicious Wi-Fi radio) to insert themselves between a victim’s Wi-Fi device and a legitimate Wi-Fi access point. They intercept the data packets being transmitted and use a software tool to strip the encryption protection from HTTPS, thus gaining access to sensitive information in plain text. It can be done without the victim ever detecting any suspicious activity, says Ryan Orsi, director of strategic alliances at WatchGuard Technologies, a network security appliances and services firm.”

For more information about the dangers presented by Wi-Fi hotspots, and a few hot tips for preventing your business from falling victim to these threats, check out the full article on Inc. And for expert advice on secure Wi-Fi, check out these 5 key features that can keep your business and Wi-Fi delivery competitive today.