Wi-Fi is the de facto standard for how we connect our devices to consume data. Smart Phones, IoT, Smart TV’s, Games Consoles, Laptops, Tablets, etc. All these devices enable us to consume data whether it is for work or private, and they all use Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi usage by country (survey in 2019)
Convenience, performance, cost, and reliability are all factors that make Wi-Fi our go to technology over and above cellular networks.
The ongoing development of wireless technology, including WiFi-6 and mesh networks, continues to challenge even the latest mobile network networks.
The FCC (Federation Communication Commission) is pushing the growth of the Wi-Fi network. They estimate that by 2022 hotspots will have grown by 400% to around 549 million.
The problem is that many existing hotspots use older equipment and lack some of the more up to date security features. It is all very well having the latest Smartphone, but even the most secure devices will reduce its security features to enable connection to older, less secure networks
Having more hotspots available is good news, but we need to be aware of the dangers that Wi-Fi hotspots come with. The Cyber Criminals are more than aware that hotspots are good targets for them to crack. Once they have gained access to a hotspot, they have plenty of opportunities to social profile “guests”.
Another thing to remember is that if you see “FREE WiFi”, then you are the product, it is not free. Your data usage will be monitored, analysed, and used for targeted marketing. Should you be using a hotspot for work purposes then please use a recommended VPN (not the first advert that you see from a search of the internet). Speak with an IT expert to get advice on VPN’s.
If you are a business that offers guest Wi-Fi then you should be aware of the six Wi-Fi threats:
Allows attackers to bypass perimeter security.
Evil Twin AP:
Lures users to connect to it to spy on traffic, steal data and infect systems.
Risks infection from connecting to other SSID’s while in range of the authorised AP.
Delivers malware payloads to the network after connecting to malicious AP’s.
Opens networks to attack because of configuration errors.
Uses peer-to-peer connections to evade security controls.
Hotspots are going to be a cause of data-leakage, make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure. Hotspots need to be managed, they are not an “install and forget”. As an owner of a guest hotspot, you also need to know who is using your services to ensure no untoward activity is going on. Casual network surfers are always looking for unmanaged and unmonitored networks to download illegal files like torrents. If your ISP identifies illegal activity has been happening on your network they will come after the business, so you need to be able to identify who the user was and device.