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Guest or Public Wi-Fi Risks

Aug 30, 2019

Does your Company have a Guest Wi-Fi?

As a leading Insurance Brokerage for Cyber Insurance, we want our clients to be on the front foot with what risks are associated with this, and the possible effects

Almost all organisations are expected to have a “Guest” Wi-Fi these days. Some even go as far as providing USB Charge Points for customers. (If you provide USB Charge Points, we discuss this further towards the end of the article).

All of these offerings involve connections, networks and data.

So what is risky about Guest or Public Wi-Fi?

There are huge risks with allowing staff, clients or guests to use publicly available Wi-Fi, which is why it is strongly recommended a business offer a “Guest” Wi-Fi network instead

This can then be isolated from the main business network, but also protected from unauthorised users.

A guest network requires a password, and sometimes a code to gain access.  As this is completely isolated from your Business network, your client data is protected, and you can stop any user’s device from detecting and sending data to other devices on the same network.

There should be clearly established controls that prevent devices from accessing all network systems, in addition – further network segregation should be implemented for the Business network, and the devices that can connect to it.

Controls should also be around Public Wi-Fi, and no business device should be allowed to access these networks. Public Wi-Fi as opposed to Guest Wi-Fi is often unsecure and not password protected, making the devices vulnerable and attractive to hack.

If someone is accessing Wi-Fi Networks:

  • Look for networks that are spelt incorrectly.
  • Make sure it is password protected and/or ensure the Wi-Fi has a secondary measure to access the service.
  • Use Guest or Public Wi-Fi for General Browsing only.
  • Try to avoid unsecure Wi-Fi or Public Wi-Fi.
  • Always update your Web Browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.). This can be done through your Devices System Updates.
  • Look for websites that are secure with HTTPS (s stands for secure).
  • Don’t ignore certificate errors that may pop up before accessing a site.

What dangers are associated with mobile phone / USB charge points?

A simple principle to keep in mind is, that if a physical connection to a device is possible, then all of the contents and data on that device can be accessed and compromised.

There are exceptions, however –  DCPs or “Dedicated Charging Ports”

These provide power via USB ports without any possibility of data transfer. DCPs provide up to 1.5 A and 5 V, which is more than enough for charging mobile phones or tablets.

The other benefit of only offering DCP ports is you can guarantee the privacy of staff, clients or customers, and the security risk associated with a device remains uncompromised.

I’m concerned, how can I protect my business?

If you need a Cyber Insurance policy to protect your Business, contact Austbrokers Comsure on 1800 122 194. The risks are out there. It’s just about being on the front foot, and having a plan if your network or systems get hacked.


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