Small firms fail to secure Wi-Fi access

Wireless Internet

More than half of small firms are unable to tell who is accessing their wireless internet (Wi–Fi) network.

Wireless Internet

Research from network security firm Napera found that 57% of small and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs) do not know who is accessing their network, while 20% allow guests to plug into their network without checking the security of their computers. Napera Networks EMEA vice–president Pierre Blom

“By failing to enforce security, SMEs leave themselves open to attacks, which could see their networks or data compromised. It’s critical that organisations of all sizes protect themselves from any potential threats which could cost them millions.”

“All businesses should have policies in place to identify and control who and what are accessing the network, any guest users or remote workers should be checked to ensure their devices are secure and up–to–date, and all individuals should have their own password,” added Blom.

According to Tony Neate, managing director of Get Safe Online, the government’s campaign to raise awareness of internet security issues, there are a variety of risks involved with allowing unknown computers to access a business’ network.

“Businesses need to be especially careful with their wireless network as they will often have all their financial accounts information stored somewhere on the system.”

“Many companies also have their customers’ data — they could be a builder or a hairdresser who keeps their clients’ data and they need to take responsibility for that under the Data Protection Act,” he added.

“In addition, if someone is sharing your IP address and doing something illegal such as using stolen credit cards or looking at indecent images of children, police will find you at that IP address number, and they will think it is you breaking the law,” said Neate.

“Business owners need to secure their networks with encryption,” he said. “They must also use passwords to ensure nobody outside the company can get access their data.”

For more information on securing IT systems, read our article on security on the internet.

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