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Are Wi-Fi Devices Attacking Your Business?

Wi-Fi enabled devices could be costing your business

Ben Elman, Managing Director of Linix, examines how Wi-Fi enabled devices could be costing your business – and offers advice on how to keep data secure.

The very real and existing threat is that devices that are not secure could act as a conduit for cybercriminals.

Think back to when the only devices connected to your office’s IT network were likely to have been PCs and maybe the odd USB drive.

Today, there has been a massive increase in the amount of Wi-Fi enabled devices including the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT, the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data) which have changed the scenery forever.

Today, it is common and habitual for your team to connect their own laptop, tablet or smartphone to the office Wi-Fi. The majority of hardware in a business environment too, printers and TVs for example, are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled.

A study recently by Forbes projected that by the year 2025 there will be ‘more than 80bn active smart devices connected to the internet worldwide’, simply put, the connected world is growing.

IoT connectivity may be innovative, convenient and save valuable time, but there is more sinister side too. These types of devices offer cybercriminals an opportunity to compromise your security through access and infection, presenting an immediate problem for many organisations as it can be almost impossible to keep a track of who is using what device and when.

This vulnerability means that unsecured devices could gain access to an organisation’s data (and with the upcoming GDPR governing business’s sensitive data responsibilities, attacks could have further and more serious repercussions than mere inconvenience) with serious repercussions to  both your finances and your reputation and could, in extreme circumstances, cripple a company for months.

The solution

Getting rid of Wi-Fi enabled devices is not realistic, tech is here to stay, but you need to be proactive. Your business network can be fixed to safeguard devices if they are both isolated and secured. Workplace practices should be delineated clearly, followed by all staff and monitored by managers, with an emphasis on the significance of not storing sensitive data on portable devices.

Staff training is essential if you want to keep your business safe. The majority of cyber attacks, over 90%, are as a result of human error. In addition, consulting a cybersecurity professional is always a must.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t exist an organisation that can claim 100% protected against issues such as ransomware or other malicious software. However, with a security policy which is regularly updated and buoyed by suitable backup, data recovery and continuing workplace awareness and training, it’s possible to lessen such attacks, keeping interruptions to your business to a minimum and, most importantly, keeping your clients and your own data, secure.

If you would like to learn more about how Wi-Fi can be attacking your business, contact a member of the Linix team today. Remember to like us on Facebook and Twitter for stay up-to-date with the latest information.