Connecting to Airport WiFi

Connecting to Airport WiFiConnecting to Airport WiFi has become the norm when traveling.  File this away under things you already knew.  Coronet recently released a report entitled “Attention All Passengers:  Airport Networks Are Putting Your Devices & Cloud Apps At Severe Risk,” and the news is about what you’d expect. 

The report was more than five months in the making. The analysts poured over oceans of data on device vulnerabilities and Wi-Fi network risks from more than a quarter of a million consumer and corporate endpoints that passed through the 45 busiest airports in the United States.

The bottom line is simply that airport Wi-Fi is woefully unsafe, especially as compared to most corporate networks, and anyone connecting to those networks is asking for trouble.

Some offenders proved to be worse than others. The report names the San Diego International Airport, John Wayne Airport – Orange County (CA), and the William P. Hobby International Airport (Houston, TX) as being among the least secure in the nation.

The risk is that while traveling, most people don’t think about what network they’re connecting to or how secure it might be. This is an incredible opportunity for hackers, because once an employee’s laptop or mobile device is infected, the integrity of the employers’ cloud-based work apps is jeopardized.

Coronet’s founder, Dror Liwer, had this to say about the findings:

“Far too many US airports have sacrificed the security of their Wi-Fi networks for consumer convenience.  As a result, business travelers in particular put not just their devices, but their company’s entire digital infrastructure, at risk every time they connect to Wi-Fi that is unencrypted, unsecured, or improperly configured.

Until such time when airports take responsibility and improve their cybersecurity posture, the accountability is on each individual flyer to be aware of the risks and take the appropriate steps to minimize the danger.”

Be sure your employees are aware of the risks any time they travel.  Your company’s future might depend on it.