As more work is being done away the office, more users are connecting company equipment to WiFi networks, often in public places. Pass along these WiFi security tips to help keep data safe.
When employees bring their work to coffee shops or other public places with WiFi hotspots, that may leave company data open to attack. Those networks often aren’t very secure, and anyone connected to the same network with a little know-how can find ways to access sensitive documents on the user’s machine.
Many criminals are now setting up shop in those places because they know it’s an easy way to commit cyber theft.
Warn users about these WiFi security dangers when they connect to public networks:
1. ‘Evil twin’ networks
Often, people open their laptops at a coffee shop, airport or other place and immediately connect to the first listed network with the establishment’s name. Some hackers are taking advantage of that by setting up their own so-called “evil twin” networks that appear to be the one customers want.
Once hackers have victims on their own networks, they can steal data, hijack passwords, plant malware or carry out other damage.
The solution: Warn users to find out the name of the WiFi network they want before they connect.
2. Man-in-the-middle attacks
In other cases, hackers simply connect to a legitimate network and snoop on the information that other users send back and forth. Hopefully, hotspots users connect to won’t contain any vulnerabilities that allow those WiFi security attacks to happen, but as any IT pro knows, that isn’t always the case.
But IT can help prevent data from being stolen this way by requiring employees to use a VPN when they connect to the company’s network from outside the office. Users can also be warned to avoid entering passwords, visiting online banking sites or performing other sensitive tasks while on public networks.
3. Accidental filesharing
Some devices are configured to share files, folders and printers with other devices connected to the same network. If a user doesn’t realize sensitive information is being publicly shared, malicious people will be able to download that data without doing much work at all.
To protect documents, IT should disable automatic sharing on workplace computers and train users to be aware of what they share when they connect to a public network.