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SonicWALL ‘Wi-Fi Theft’ media alert

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.”

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.