June 3 2011

If you happen to run a small business, beware! At one time, making sure our computers were locked to our desks and we had the right passwords were just enough to secure confidential corporate data.  Maybe having your server locked in a secure room gave you the peace of mind that everything was secure.  Times have changed especially since the invention of wireless networks.  Today, crooks simply need a WI-FI connection to break into your office.

These Wardrivers drive around cruising neighbourhoods, shopping centers and office buildings looking for open or WI-FI networks that can be easily hacked into.  All businesses are at risk!  Small Business right through to large corporations can fall victim to a compromise of their WI-FI network.  There are almost daily stories of corporations having their WI-FI networks hacked into and customer data compromised.  A few years ago it was TJ Maxx; tomorrow it could be your business.

Right now, these wardrivers might make you a target. Here is how they will typically do it…

Wardrivers cruise around in vehicles, usually the ones with tinted windows to make sure no one outside sees what is happening inside the vehicle. Inside the vehicle will be laptops connected with long-range antennas that collect the list and locations of wireless networks. When they come across a vulnerable wireless network, they tap into it and steal credit card numbers and even personal information.

And if you are using an unsecure Wi-Fi standard called Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), you may be at risk.  Consumer-grade WI-Fi routers (normally sold at your local office supply store) are often the targets of these wardriving attempts to hack into your business network.  Your business might be using one of them. But the point here is that WEP’s encryption can be easily cracked with a little help from sophisticated tools by unsophisticated hackers, so it is time you reviewed your network security and our team of Grande Prairie IT security specialists can help you.

Just over a year ago, a hacker named Albert Gonzalez was convicted of stealing more than 130 million credit card numbers, most of which were robbed using wardriving.

What does your business need to be secure?

It starts with having a review of your overall business security systems, physical and virtual.  It is great to have alarms on your building, controlled access to your business but what about your employees who connect from home via remote access or your WI-FI connection that is broadcasting to the world that your business is “open for business”.  Having a trusted Grande Prairie IT support team like ours will ensure your network is completely secure, all possible gaps are filled and you can rest assured knowing that the right team is on the job.

Wireless networks are great and they are convenient.  But what are the risks?  Contact pcit today to learn more about how to secure your business network.

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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