A recent survey showed businesses are not doing what they should when it comes to "IT". The survey doesn't go into why the businesses but I think it may be because they don't know any better and they were trying to save some money. Years ago it was rare to see anyone carrying a laptop with them when they go to get a cup of coffee. Now it is almost expected to have your laptop or a smart phone with you when you get your daily cup of coffee. Technology is everywhere you turn and it is easy to gain access to data you need. No one thinks about all the risks that are being taken when accessing important websites or company files over the WiFi connection when drinking your coffee.
eWeek.com wrote an article about this survey that was done by Harris Interactive on behalf of Lenovo. The Lenovo-AMD Small Business Tech Survey, which sought to identify common issues and trends in technology use by small businesses, also uncovered several peculiar—and in some cases alarming—technology practices including relying on "piggybacking" on nearby WiFi networks and saving critical business files on USB thumb drives.
In order to keep up with their hefty workload, many respondents agreed they rely on a mobile device such as a laptop or smart phone. The most preferred devices are laptops (38%) and smart phones (31%), according to survey results. Despite the consequences of data loss, the survey indicated that many small businesses are backing up critical business data using highly disposable and insecure methods. While 40 percent of small businesses back up files to external hard drives, 50 percent of respondents said they or their company use USB thumb drives and CDs/DVDs to back up important information.
For many respondents, WiFi in their home or office is the primary means of connecting to the Internet with their company-issued laptop. However, some respondents admitted to connecting to unsecured WiFi networks ("piggybacking") in order to conduct business: A quarter of respondents reported they or someone in their company piggyback other available WiFi networks to conduct business. In addition, almost one in five senior-level executives (17%) and proprietor/owners (17%) surveyed say they piggyback on wireless networks.
The big issue that is shown in this survey is that many businesses access their data over unsecured wireless connections. The free or even pay WiFi spots are prime targets for Man-In-The-Middle attacks. There are easy to use tools on the web or that can be purchased to allow a thief to hack your system and get you to connect to their network without you knowing. While you are on that network they can view all your traffic and see the data that is transmitted.
Contact us to see how you can protect yourself and your company from threats such as this.