With the increase of mobile and remote work forces, many organizations and freelancers are looking for an alternative solution to the traditional and outdated office space, a solution that will reduce their overhead costs, allow for a flexible work space and provide potential networking opportunities.
Collaborative work spaces generally offer a stress free integration, all included amenities, prime office location and a tech-enabled work space , however along with the benefits of these spaces there are always security risks to consider.
Given the amount of users and organizations that all operate off of one network within these work spaces, Well thought out network security systems and protocols are vital to keeping your data safe and secure.
Weak passwords, poor network configuration and out-dated network equipment could leave your sensitive data & documents visible on their network. There is also the possibility that some of the Wi-Fi networks you’d normally have access to within the work spaces don’t have any encryption at all which could result in a security breach.
Some companies offer unique SSID’s and VLAN’s to provide you with a more secure and private network, however these options usually add a considerable amount to your monthly membership fees & sometimes are not even an option.
Securing a Wi-Fi Network
Here are a few measures you can take right now to start protecting your data on public Wi-Fi.
Browse Only over HTTPS Encrypted Sites – When browsing a website , ensure that the site is secure by locating the green lock symbol at the beginning of the website URL. This indicates that your traffic is being encrypted through SSL encryption technology and that the data transferred between your browser and the website is secured. However, this method is still vulnerable to SSL stripping.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication – Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great way to prevent your accounts from being hacked. It ensures that, in addition to your username and password, a second layer of verification such as an SMS code is required. However, in the case of public Wi-Fi, this method only protects your account during the login process, so it isn’t enough to keep you safe online.
Disable Auto Join to Wi-Fi Networks – Many Wi-Fi hotspots are unsecured. However, your phone automatically remembers previous networks you’ve connected to and will reconnect to them even if you don’t interact with your phone. Since it’s important to make sure that the network you’re connecting to is authorized, reliable and trustworthy, you should disable auto-join on your device.
Cyber security is becoming even more important these days, especially when we consider how much of our valuable data is kept online. Along with being cautious and aware of the networks you connect to, if utilizing a communal work space, you should also seek services that include advanced or even automatic Wi-Fi security features, ensuring employee communications are encrypted across all Internet connections.