Mobile Workers Still Using Insecure Free Wi-Fi

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Two-thirds of mobile workers are worried about the security implications of using free Wi-Fi hotspots, yet nearly half (42%) still access corporate networks via them, according to iPass.

The mobile connectivity firm polled over 1,700 business travelers to better gauge their technology habits, preferences and expectations on the road.

It revealed several mobile security trends which should concern CISOs.

Aside from the use of insecure free Wi-Fi, half said they’re allowed to use a personal device to access the corporate network, while over a third (38%) claimed they’d never used a VPN to protect data and comms.

Around three-quarters (72%) said they use free Wi-Fi at airports if it is available, exposing them to the risk of data theft and corporate espionage.

Patricia Hume, chief commercial officer at iPass, told Infosecurity the survey shows that corporate and employee data security priorities are worlds apart.

She added that banning access to free Wi-Fi on the road isn’t the answer.

“It is important that mobile workers are educated about how to find secure connectivity while on the move rather than using insecure Wi-Fi hotspots, as this can help to keep both mobile workers and enterprise security safe,” argued Hume.

“Businesses need to ensure they are making the effort to develop and implement a robust safe mobile usage policy and educating mobile workers on the importance of security while on the go.”

Although many IT departments mandate the use of corporate VPNs, low technical expertise may mean employees look for alternative ways to get online.

“Businesses need to take a clear step forward and ensure that corporate VPNs are used by employees when secure connectivity isn’t guaranteed,” concluded Hume.

Respondents from across North America and Europe were interviewed to compile the iPass Mobile Professional Report 2016.

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