Most Businesses Leave Gaps In Wi-Fi Security

By | August 12, 2005

The Diffusion Group´s survey explored the computing behavior of small to medium businesses (SMB), analyzing the reasons SMB´s choose to establish computer networks, the popularity of wireless networks, and how businesses go about protecting these networks.

While 90% of the 1500 businesses surveyed reported using wireless security products, a vast majority depended on security systems that left their networks–and the data they transmit–exposed to attacks from hackers.

“Most businesses use software- or hardware-based firewalls, which do not require end user authentication,” said Mike Klein, CEO and President of Interlink Networks. “The primary dangers to wireless networks come not from spyware, which can be filtered out by firewalls, but from unauthorized users–hackers and wardrivers who infiltrate networks and clandestinely steal information, causing immense problems and opening up companies to liability.”

As more and more businesses move to adopting Wi-Fi as a productive and low-cost alternative to traditional computing networks, the need for complete, reliable security solutions grows. The Diffusion Group´s survey examined the reasons SMB´s choose to use Wi-Fi, and found that the cost benefits of wireless networking were among the greatest incentives to businesses.

“Even in offices where most of the workforce uses a desktop PC instead of a notebook, businesses are recognizing the cost advantages of establishing wireless networks instead of laying and relying on cable,” said Michael Greeson, President and Principal Analyst of the Diffusion Group and author of the survey. “But it is important to realize that the security implications of using insecure wireless networks will quickly erase any potential benefits that Wi-Fi may offer to businesses. Especially if businesses work with sensitive or private information–operating on an insecure network opens companies up to litigation in the event of a security breach. Protecting your wireless network is of crucial importance in today´s world.”

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