General 3min de Leitura - 13 de September de 2016

Secure hotspot for small and medium-sized businesses

Mãos femininas usando relógio no pulso e grande anel na mão direita, digitando em notebook

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The internet has transformed people’s daily life, both professionally and personally. The average connection time of people per day increases each year. This is due to the convergence of environments and businesses to the internet, as well as the increase of access points, in private or public means, or by mobile operators.

Years ago, the internet access was done during their working day, which is because it did not make much sense to have internet at home, or it was still expensive for many citizens. The scenario has changed as more and more people are connected.

One aspect that greatly contributed to the growth of interconnections outside work environments was the Internet being offered, initially as a competitive advantage, in places with greater circulation, such as malls, hospitals, restaurants and others.

The availability of the internet resource in public and private places ceases to be a competitive differential and becomes a standard practice, which brings comfort to visitors and customers and helps in the process of retention and discovery of new opportunities.

The technical term used for Internet access, generally free, offered in public or private places of great circulation is hotspot. Through these access points, people can take advantage of the internet, using local infrastructure, through wireless connections, for the most part.

Although this movement is a path without a return, and more and more the internet will be offered free of charge in all places, by projects of city halls and the like, one must be very careful, from the perspective of users and suppliers.

Security for hotspot users

Public places that offer internet access can be targets of malicious people. Although technology has evolved considerably to the isolation of devices within a wireless network, one must be very cautious when offering the service to users.

The first point to consider is never to use connections that involve great privacy, or even value (monetary or otherwise). That is, do not use this type of access to do banking, or if for you a social network is very important, avoid using these networks. The perception of value here is a very private point, so be careful of what is precious to you.

Another item to consider is that once devices are sharing the same environment (the network, hotspot), care must be taken to not expose them, preventing unauthorized access or exploiting a vulnerability, compromising the device. In this case, not only a certain internet access is intercepted, but also access to every device, taking full control of the equipment.

These items are not necessarily applicable to all hotspot environments, as there are security measures that can be deployed by those who offer this type of service, precisely to minimize potential attacks within these networks. Regardless, since it is not possible to guarantee the technologies employed, it is best to limit the use to items that do not offer users and passwords, such as access to news, entertainment and other websites.

Security for establishments that offer a hotspot

From the perspective of the business that offers the hotspot, there are also items to be checked on the security optics; otherwise, one can have implications over time with inappropriate use of some network user.

It is common that a hotspot does not offer any type of restriction of access to content, and therefore there may be problems associated with consumption of illegal content, illegal actions such as pedophilia, copyright infringement with music and/or movie downloads, among others.

As the access is offered by the establishment, it is co-responsible, and the identification of the access will indicate that it was done through a given establishment. In case of any need for notification, extra or judicial, the company that made Internet access available, that is, your company, will be notified for the necessary clarifications.

Companies that offer Internet to users, without having mechanisms that guarantee their identification, can receive fines if they are mentioned in lawsuits. Therefore, it is important to have the minimum of control, and know who accesses your network, register these accesses and store them for a certain period, so that they can be retrieved, if necessary.

If your company offers internet access in some way, totally unrestricted to unknown users, without any type of control, no access records, rethink this model.

Since there is possibility of identification users in the network, it brings security to suppliers and people who make use of the resource for legal purposes. Therefore, before offering this type of access, ensure that there is sufficient technology available to ensure the safety of the environment.

Align with your legal staff, or some trusted lawyer, how the accesses will be offered, what kind of terms should be informed to the user, establish the rights and duties of the people who make use of the resource.

To continue reading about the topic, we recommend other associated articles available on the blog: What is hotspot, concept and terminology.

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