Information Technology Blog

Are you letting your corporate data leak at Starbucks?

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011 by

coffee and computerWe all like Starbucks (well, most of us, anyway).  Personally, I’m a Venti Skim 3 Equal Latte kind of guy.  And along with that Latte, if I find myself in between meetings or out of town, I’ll usually sit down to work for a while.  Connecting to the Wifi network at Starbucks (or any public wifi hotspot) might be one of the biggest (and most misunderstood) security dillemas business users (and the companies they work for) face today.

Smartphone users may not realize it, but they store a ton of personal and business data on their devices, and often are transmitting that data over a public wireless network.  This is a prime breeding ground for cybercriminals, who are anxious to get their hands on your data.

According to an Experian survey published earlier this year, nearly two thirds of Smartphone users store and send email on their devices, even if that mail contains confidential or proprietary information.  More than half of the users surveyed were unaware of the problem of security and their Smartphones.  In addition, the loss of a Smartphone creates a whole additional set of problems, including saved passwords automatically used in some banking applications, contact lists, and other critical data.

Smartphone users are expected to exceed one billion by 2014 creating a massive market for those looking to steal information.  Even today, according to Norton, over 65% of people worldwide have been a victim of a cybercrime.

One way to secure your company and employees is by creating a private network that can be accessed via a public wifi connection, also known as a “Virtual Private Network” or “VPN”.  Another security measure is to require all of your employees to set a password on their SmartPhone (all phones have this capabilitiy), in case the phone is every lost or stolen.

Most importantly is education: make sure your employees understand the risks surrounding their Smartphones and public wifi locations. 

For more information on Smartphones, public wifi, VPNs and the rest of our Cleveland IT services, please leave a message below or contact Skoda Minotti Technology Partners at 440-449-6800.

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