By: Megan Mayer
Remote and hybrid work environments have significantly grown in popularity over the past two years, instigated primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic. What first started as a necessary policy to keep workers safe has become the new ideal work environment, with nine out of 10 remote workers reporting they want to maintain remote work to some degree. While the ‘work from anywhere’ mentality has led to a better work-life balance for many, it can also make companies vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Remote work allows employees to work from anywhere, as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection. Threat actors have taken advantage of this trend and have developed several strategies to hack workers while they are on the go. Using an unsafe public Wi-Fi can not only put your company data at risk, but also any personal data you have access to from your computer. Listed below are the top three most common dangers of using public Wi-Fi and how to avoid them.
1. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: This type of attack is known as the ‘eavesdropping attack’ and occurs when a hacker positions themself in the middle of your connection with public Wi-Fi. Any sensitive data you type out, such as passwords that are hidden, can be seen by the hacker. This type of attack can be hard to spot until your information is stolen and it’s too late.
2. Evil Twin Attacks: An evil twin attack can occur when a hacker creates a fake Wi-Fi network and makes it appear legitimate. For example, have you ever tried to connect to the Wi-Fi at your local Starbucks and seen multiple Wi-Fi networks with similar names, such as STARBUCKSWIFI or STARBUCK$WIFI? The choice between the two networks could mean access to either a strong, safe connection or a cyber-attack - and it can be difficult to spot the real one.
3. Malware-Infected Networks: Public Wi-Fi networks can be infected with various types of malwares, either by a threat actor accessing the network or due to an infected device being connected. When a device connects to compromised Wi-Fi, the malware can spread to it and hackers can quickly have access to the device’s sensitive data.
Keep Your Connection Safe On The Go
There are several strategies you can employ to help protect your organization’s data and your personal data when connecting to Wi-Fi. While each of the below strategies can help mitigate your risk, it is important that you apply a layered approach to your cybersecurity. This can be done through using strong passwords, multifactor authentication (MFA), and more.
Confirm Public Wi-Fi: To avoid connecting to an unsafe connection when out in public, ask one of the workers which Wi-Fi is safe to connect to. Confirming the Wi-Fi name can help protect you from evil twin attacks and having your device compromised.
Use a Trusted VPN: VPN stands for virtual private network. A VPN provides an encrypted tunnel and masks your traffic from threat actors. A VPN protects your identity even if you are using public Wi-Fi, adding another layer of protection to your data.
Implement a Zero Trust Framework: Zero Trust methodology is a modern security model founded on the principle ‘Never trust, always verify.’ The model requires all devices and users to be authenticated, authorized, and regularly validated before being granted access. By requiring validation at every access point, Zero Trust helps prevent security breaches.
Improve Your Work From Home Security Strategy With Entara:
Entara offers complete, integrated IT and cyber security solutions personalized to a company’s needs. We cover a full range of security integrations and technology services to elevate our clients’ security stacks and prevent devastating cyberattacks. Connect to learn more about howour team of experts can teach your employees how to safely work remotely and reduce. your organization’s vulnerability to cyber threats.