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article imageFBI issues warning over public Wi-Fi use Special

By Tim Sandle     Dec 21, 2019 in Internet
As the US enters peak travel season, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning to travelers: beware public Wi-Fi. Both enterprises and consumers need to heed the warning, according to expert Sudhakar Ramakrishna.
According to Forbes, reviewing the FBI statement, connecting to an open wireless network may well be convenient (and it reduced data costs); however, there are dangers within the context of today’s rapidly-evolving threat landscape. This is especially so in large pubic places like airports. Here there is a chance that there is a hacker nearby, equipped with their own laptop, attempting to “eavesdrop” on a person's use of their mobile device in order to obtain personal data. Such personal data could provide access to an individual's money or to a company’s sensitive information.
The FBI has also issued warnings about smart devices, noting especially that most of the smart home devices people use to connect to their router have almost no security at all. This means that both consumers and businesses need to to take steps to secure their local network as a whole.
Assessing the impact of this warning upon businesses, Pulse Secure CEO Sudhakar Ramakrishna tells Digital Journal it is recommended that "travelers avoid connecting their devices to free wireless hotspots to prevent bad actors from accessing their devices."
This is a real danger since, "with the rise of workforce mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trends, employees are increasingly using work computers for personal and business use and connecting these and other devices, such as smartphones and watches, to insecure networks and web destinations. This introduces new potential threats as these devices connect to your corporate network, especially risky depending on where the connection is made, if the connection was to an open public Wi-Fi, and if the connection designation could result in malware infection."
As a protective measure, Ramakrishna recommends: "To effectively manage endpoint threats, companies need to embrace their employees as partners in maintaining effective security. Clearly communicate what your security policy is, and offer best practices to protect personal and corporate information as employees use their devices while they travel or even activate new devices procured over the holidays. As people return to the office, encourage new password changes, device updates, and implementing a Zero Trust access policy and controls in place to vet IoT devices that employees may bring into the office."
More about Wifi, public wifi, Data breach, Cybersecurity
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