Securing Your Wireless Connections

With new technologies comes of course great opportunities for developing most businesses especially those that function online.  However it also brings increasing risks, the internet has always developed ahead of these security problems which are generally solved ad-hoc as they are flagged.

Today, many companies are embracing wireless networking technologies to enhance productivity, provide better customer service, and even offer Internet access to partners and on-site visitors. The emergence of new technologies, widespread cellular-data service, and an increasing number of wireless access points are making it easier for users to access information they need, when and where they need it.
With wireless hotspots available in coffee shops, airports, and restaurants, business travelers can work easily no matter where they are. In addition, many users are enjoying the convenience of Wi-Fi connections in their hotel rooms and homes. Whether surfing the web, checking their email or posting to their Instagram accounts.

While providing users wireless access to file shares, applications, and other network resources offers many benefits, doing so can present security and manageability challenges. The multiplicity of connectivity options-cellular, local area networks (LANs), wireless local area networks (WLANs), and WiFi-can be difficult for IT departments to manage.

Because users need to access resources from both IT-managed devices such as corporate laptops and from unmanaged devices such as PDAs, many existing remote access solutions leave the network open to security threats from viruses, malware, and Trojan horses. In addition, the lack of interoperability among wireless vendors, an ever-evolving security framework for WLANs, and issues related to Internet and firewall traversal present further challenges.

One of the core issues regarding security on the internet, is in fact one of the main reasons for it’s success.  Simply that the infrastructure of the internet is primarily built on shared hardware, which means it’s difficult to secure and control.   When you visit that coffee shop, your security and privacy is partly dependent on how well their hardware is secured and configured.  Next time you’re enjoying your latte and browsing the web – have a look around and see if you can spot the IT expert !

There’s certainly a trade off to consider, it’s certainly very convenient to be able to surf the web and check our email wherever we are.  Indeed more people use their mobiles to access the internet than ever before, increasing the risk of losing important security credentials like usernames and passwords to secure sites.  There are ways of protecting your data, but  how many people do you know who use proxies like these ? Most people are blissfully unaware of the security risk of checking your email when using an unknown access point.

If you want some semblance of security then a VPN is essential and a proper one which can handle all transactions like SSL securely. Believe it or not some don’t and certainly many proxies especially free ones don’t work well with security.  It can be confusing to choose the appropriate server type and method, particularly when there is so much contradictory information about.



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