Exposed! The Four Worst Public Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2023

Subverting Cybersecurity: The Lurking Threats of Public Wi-Fi & How To Combat Them

2 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • Shocking 87% of UK businesses have adapted to hybrid working models.
  • Restaurants, Hotels, Public Transport, and Airports top the list for riskiest Wi-Fi connections.
  • Expert insights reveal preventative measures for businesses and employees.

The Evolution of the Remote Workspace

As businesses adapt and evolve with the changing times, so do their employees. With 44% of UK’s workforce tapping into the benefits of remote work, the rise in public Wi-Fi usage comes as no surprise. However, while it promises convenience, there’s an underlying, often overlooked danger.

Cybersecurity’s Worst Offenders

1. Coffee Shops & Restaurants: A daily surge of customers, each having access to free Wi-Fi, is a hacker’s playground. Man-in-the-Middle attacks can exploit vulnerabilities, stealing sensitive information, passwords, and transaction data from unsuspecting users.

2. Hotels: Often seen as a reliable connection point for traveling employees, hotel Wi-Fi presents more risks than perks. Open access means easy infiltration for cybercriminals. Router hacking becomes a real threat, exposing any personal or business data transmitted over the network.

3. Public Transport: Despite the allure of completing tasks on-the-go, public transport Wi-Fi stands as a notable security risk. Hackers favor such networks, with malware attacks being rampant. Employees might unwittingly expose important business data or private information.

4. Airports: Crucial for business travelers, airport Wi-Fi is also a favorite hotspot for cyberattacks. Threats range from business email compromise to full-fledged identity theft. Inputting passwords or accessing business accounts becomes a gamble, with hackers potentially intercepting data on insecure networks.

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Expert’s Corner: Venky Sundar Weighs In

Founder and president of Indusface, Venky Sundar, sheds light on the pitfalls of public Wi-Fi. “The vulnerability of these networks is alarming,” warns Sundar. The likelihood of encountering malware becomes significantly high when employees utilize public Wi-Fi.

Two prominent solutions emerge: endpoint security and application security. While having robust antivirus software addresses the former, putting applications behind a Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) becomes pivotal for the latter. This ensures that, even if a device gets compromised, attacks get thwarted at the WAAP layer.

Shoring Up the Digital Defenses

It’s not all doom and gloom. With a proactive approach, both businesses and employees can bolster their online defenses.

  • Stay Aware: Turn off auto-connect settings for Wi-Fi. These settings can inadvertently connect you to insecure networks, becoming easy prey for cyber attackers.
  • Embrace VPNs: Employing a Virtual Private Network conceals data from potential hackers. This simple step could deter most cyber infiltrations.
  • Trust in Anti-Virus: Keeping devices protected with up-to-date antivirus software can be a game-changer. It provides the first line of defense against malware and suspicious activity.
  • Audit Regularly: Businesses should actively perform gray box DAST scans on their web and mobile applications. Knowing potential risks allows companies to mitigate them effectively.
  • Double the Security: Implementing a WAAP solution ensures that if an employee’s endpoint gets compromised, originating attacks are halted right at the onset.

Methodology Matters

Indusface, a renowned cloud-based application security company, undertook a detailed study to shine a light on public Wi-Fi pitfalls. Their methodology involved sourcing data from reputed platforms, followed by expert commentary from their founder, Venky Sundar. This in-depth analysis, conducted on 4/09/23, aims to educate businesses and empower them to make informed decisions.

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For an in-depth dive and more resources, visit Indusface.

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