In response to recent reports of individuals in Worcester using their neighbours’ personal and corporate Wi-Fi networks illegally, network security specialists SonicWALL believe consumers and businesses need educating regarding the requirements for adequate network protection.
Keith Bird, Managing Director, Europe for SonicWALL says: “Many individuals don’t realise that an unsecured wireless connection is a dangerous thing. It is the responsibility of homes and businesses with Wi-Fi networks to make sure they protect themselves. This theft is the technological equivalent of picking a pocket.
“In this case, the customers actually paying for Wi-Fi access could potentially have been hit with penalties for exceeding download limits, or if the freeloaders had committed something illegal online, the unsuspecting Wi-Fi customers could have found themselves questioned by the police.”
The problem is worse for businesses, where potential liability is much higher; if a network is breached via unsecured wireless access, sensitive data could be at risk, customer assets could be compromised and breaches of compliance and data protection laws could prove very damaging.
Keith Bird concludes, “If you have a Wi-Fi network it needs to be secured with an effective perimeter security solution. It doesn’t matter if you are a customer who uses wireless from their bedroom to check emails, or if you are a multimillion-pound business with sensitive information held in networks located across the world. If your network is left open for criminals to access, you risk sooner or later getting hijacked.”