Catharsis Managed IT Ltd blog
Which is More Secure, Your Mobile Network or Wi-Fi?
For the modern business, having a strategy to manage your employees smartphone use is essential. This is because most of the people that work for you have smartphones. One study shows that upwards of 90 percent of people under 30 own a smartphone. If you have any design on running a business, or employing millennials (who are the largest generation in the current workforce), you’ll need to know what you are doing to protect your business from the increasing amount of threats that are out there targeting smartphones.
An annual Wi-Fi Security Report conducted by Wandera found that, out of a sample of 100,000 corporate-owned mobile devices, 74% of wireless data was transferred using a Wi-Fi network, 12 percent of Wi-Fi hotspots used by those people are open and lacking encryption, and only four percent of these corporate-owned devices have been exposed to malware through an accidental or deliberate man-in-the-middle attack.
The man-in-the-middle attack (MiTM) is one where a computer will pick up malware that allows an intermediary to intercept files and correspondence between the two machines, and upon connecting to a network via a Wi-Fi connection, transfers the malware onto the computing network--thus infecting the network with the malware that allows the hacker to intercept any communication.
It’s largely understood that cellular networks are more secure than Wi-Fi networks, as cellular networks utilize high-end encryption techniques. This doesn’t make them popular, however. People will typically use Wi-Fi that is available. In fact, one statistic suggests that people are so addicted to the use of Wi-Fi that upwards of 60 percent of people will connect to any available public Wi-Fi rather than use the cellular data, even if they don’t pay for it themselves. Symantec’s Wi-Fi Risk Report corroborates this notion, adding that roughly the same number of people believe their personal information is more secure transmitted over Wi-Fi, and that 53 percent cannot tell the difference between a secure and unsecure Wi-Fi network. The report goes on to state that nearly nine out of ten consumers have put their information at risk by using public Wi-Fi.
At the business level things get a little better. While individual Wi-Fi use remains similar, businesses typically do a much better job of securing their network to keep malicious entities out. One way they do this is by setting up a firewall to keep their Wi-Fi networks away from the rest of their network. Typically, when a person accesses your organization’s Wi-Fi, they are then able to access your whole entire network. If your servers and other confidential data are linked to your organizational Wi-Fi, then an intruder who can manage to connect will then have access. By separating your Wi-Fi from your network behind a firewall, you will not only protect yourself from ambitiously malignant people on your network, but also go a long way toward safeguarding your network from cyber attacks in general.
Another way that the business can ensure their mobile strategy won’t hamstring their company’s network is by instituting a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The VPN brings additional encryption to data communication by creating a secure tunnel in which to transfer data. For the small business a VPN has become an almost essential part of providing your staff with a workable remote computing situation. Not only does it work to secure your business’ data while using available remote connections, it makes it easier to scale a business by allowing new systems to connect to it with minimal configuration. In doing so, the deployment of a strategic VPN reduces capital investment and is a major benefit for organizational mobility.
If you haven’t already, your business is going to have to address your mobile security before it gets burned. If you would like to learn more about what you are up against, or how you can utilize today’s security technology to protect your business’ important data, call Catharsis Managed IT Ltd today at (416) 865-3376.