Many employees are on the road and work from many locations…airports, hotels, cafes, restaurants…you name it. The recent explosion of free, public WiFi has been an enormous boon for working professionals. Since these free access points are widely available you are rarely more than a short trip away from access to your network, and your work. This freedom comes at a price, though, and few truly understand the public WiFi risks associated with these connections.
The same features that make free WiFi hotspots desirable for consumers make them desirable for hackers; namely, that it requires no authentication to establish a network connection. This creates an amazing opportunity for the hacker to get unfettered access to unsecured devices on the same network.
The biggest threat to free WiFi security is the ability for the hacker to position himself between you and the connection point. So instead of talking directly with the hotspot, you’re sending your information to the hacker, who then relays it on.
Hackers can also use an unsecured WiFi connection to distribute malware. If you allow file-sharing across a network, the hacker can easily plant infected software on your computer. Some ingenious hackers have even managed to hack the connection point itself, causing a pop-up window to appear during the connection process offering an upgrade to a piece of popular software. Clicking the window installs the malware.
Learning how to protect yourself will ensure your important business data remains safe. This short article from Kapersky has some great tips.