Blog / The WiFi Factor… Keeping Your Security Measures Updated and Educating Your Staff.
This week, one of our Account Managers, Jon Harmon, makes his Newsletter Contribution debut:
I remember I got my first cell phone a week before my 16th birthday. I went in with my father to Bell Mobility at Northgate Mall, to look at my future LG cell phone. My only stipulation was that the cell phone needed to be able to text-message. The other insane bonus was that I could go on the Internet while I took the bus to school! Remember T9 (predictive texting)? That was fun!
Fast forward 15 ½ years later and my mobile phone can do wonders compared to what was available back in 2003. My iPhone plays movies, can open my garage door and even control my TV. In addition to those advances, there are equal disadvantages and vulnerabilities that can bring down an organization, when opening a link from a virus-infected email. Your favourite addiction no longer just lets you know what everyone is having for lunch, but can do hurtful damage, through a little advance in Technology known as “WiFi“.
Connecting to WiFi is usually a priority for employees at their place of work. On the other hand, protecting their WiFi should be a priority for the employer. Your smart phone is a port-of-entry for viruses, Malware, and Ransomware.
Mobile devices are the easiest way to infect your network, because the same protective measures are not taken when compared to a corporate desktop or laptop computer.
A cell phone is a little computer. You can open emails and surf the web, just like at your desk. Using WiFi avoids cell phone data charge; a primary benefit. Once I connect to WiFi, anything I do on my phone can affect everything else linked to the same wireless connection.
That’s why companies allowing their staff to use the corporate WiFi, need to be aware and take the right steps to protect their systems.
Think of this scenario: During her lunch-break, an employee is surfing the Internet on her phone, in the company break-room. She’s on the company WiFi, so doesn’t have to worry about her data bill going through the roof. She checks her email and opens a personalized letter alerting her that Amazon is refunding her for a recent purchase. To receive the refund, she must open a link that will direct her to the next step. *Click* – and instantly her phone is locked-out. The screen turns red and is being told she has Ransomware. Simultaneously, the computers in her office are also locked-out and encrypted. The Ransomware has now spread to the server and all its applications. Every device linked to that WiFi connection has been infected with Malware.
This hypothetical situation is not far from reality. It happens daily. So what will you do about it?
Here are three easy steps you can take right now:
Public and Private Connections– Separate your WiFi into 2 connections: Public & Private. The Private connection is reserved for corporate laptops and tablets that have full Cyber Protection installed, and allows access to sensitive corporate files… All mobile devices and guest connections can be on a Public WiFi, which sits on the public side of the firewall and so doesn’t have access to corporate files. This way, if a device becomes compromised, it won’t affect the company network and devices.
Keep your Security Measures up-to-date– Everything from Firewall services to Antivirus, needs to be current with the latest upgrades.
Educate your Staff! – To paraphrase a quote: “Every organization has at least one person who will click on anything.”Keep your staff updated with threats and vulnerabilities. Do research and ask questions. Threats are evolving rapidly! Go out of your way to make sure your staff is well informed.
If you would like more information about stress-free WiFi, please contact your Account Manager.
Thanks and well done, Jon!