Mobile Device Security
Proudly serving Albany for over 20 years
W. O’Donnell Consulting is your trusted, local provider of mobile device security and encryption solutions in the Albany, NY area. Our VPN solutions for mobile devices will eliminate the need to use risky free WIFI and keep your devices and data safe from hackers. Contact us today.
Free WIFI could be placing critical information at risk
Free WIFI networks let busy people stay connected while on the go, and have almost become a necessity for the always-connected worker. Most companies even believe that offering a free connection is a crucial part of their customer-service plans.
Those networks, however, can hide a more sinister use, and free WIFI could be placing critical information at risk, because it can easily be hijacked by cybercriminals. Cyberattacks on those networks pose a serious threat to individuals and businesses, but following best practices for security while out and about can help protect devices and data.
The dangers of WIFI networks
Many businesses offer free WIFI access to get more customers in the door, allowing mobile users to gain access to the internet quickly and easily. Unfortunately, cybercriminals can harvest an individual’s information in several ways, including with a Man-in-the-Middle attack. In that attack, the hacker exploits a flaw in the business’s WIFI network to get access to all the information sent by users, such as passwords or browsing history.
Another danger to mobile users is that of rogue hotspots, set up by hackers to look legitimate because of their name and availability. Once users connect, though, data from the device can be stolen and the device itself can be infected with malware.
While there’s certainly a risk of an individual’s identity theft, businesses can incur significant losses from the cyberattacks that occur in public areas. Employees frequently use public WIFI networks to check emails or communicate with colleagues outside of normal business hours. Infected devices can provide the springboard for ongoing attacks against a business’s digital assets.
In addition, cybercriminals can target specific businesses or high-level managers using WIFI. For example, in 2014, safety experts uncovered a scam known as “Dark Hotel.” Hackers waited for people to log onto the WIFI offered at certain luxury hotels. When high-level targets, such as government officials or CEOs, used the hotel’s free WIFI, they were tricked into downloading “necessary” updates for their software.
The updates were disguised malware, and the victims later found that their mobile devices had been infected. The malware was stealing critical organization information in what experts judged to be a very sophisticated attack. The hacker still has not been identified.
Best practices for staying safe
Data security is critical to individuals and businesses, but following a few best practices can help protect personal and corporate information from nefarious actors. Some simple steps to take are:
- Avoid using free/ public WIFI networks, regardless of the provider
- If it’s not possible to avoid using public WIFI networks, use a virtual private network on your devices to ensure the encryption and security of all communications.
- Ensure that all mobile devices are running up-to-date software (operating system/antivirus/etc.)
- Turn off WIFI on your device unless you’re using it. In addition to draining your battery, the antenna alerts wireless networks within range to the presence of your device, which could make you a target.
- Avoid using sites beginning with HTTP; choose only those beginning with HTTPS.
- Obtain an unlimited data plan from your carrier so that you’re using your own service
Many mobile users tap into public WIFI networks to check email, surf the internet, or connect with others, but those networks can easily be compromised by bad actors. To stay safe, mobile users should implement best practices for safe device use while in public areas.
W. O’Donnell Consulting, Inc. delivers technology-based solutions that help companies solve real-world challenges. For more insights on how W. O’Donnell Consulting, Inc. can help your business protect its digital assets, contact us today.
Free Consultation and Demonstration
Contact us today for a free consultation to see what
Training Delivery Methods
- Official (ISC)² courseware
- Taught by an authorized (ISC)² instructor
- Student handbook
- Collaboration with classmates
- Real-world learning activities and scenarios
- Improves security by requiring 2nd form of identity
- Increases mobility & flexibility with improved access
- Lowers IT costs by reducing support requests
- Reduces fraud and builds trust with businesses
- Even deleted mail is retained indefinitely to protect your business.
Best in Class
We are aware that a wide array of technology vendors exist and painstakingly look for and test best-in-class emerging solutions to ensure your business makes the right choice.
We are dedicated to our clients and doing what is in their best interest. Our goal is to implement technology that is proven, affordable and actually works for the benefit of our clients.
We have consulted on and managed numerous IT projects, including large-scale international projects. Call us to discuss your initiatives and leverage our experience to benefit you.