With the rise of remote work in the post-pandemic era, many employers are left struggling to fully secure their networks. With multiple access points and near-countless risks due to hybrid office structures and operations, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed as you determine your clear path forward.
As remote workers flock to co-working spaces and coffee shops, many employers are left wondering: How safe is public WiFi in 2023?
Below, we’re digging in and giving you the pros and cons of using public WiFi, as well as our comprehensive risk assessment on the impact of public WiFi for your business.
What advantages does public WiFi offer remote workers?
WiFi is everywhere – making every location a remote worker’s dream. However, is the risk worth the reward?
There are several benefits to allowing your employees to use public WiFi, including:
- Flexibility: They’ll be able to work any time, any where – which is especially helpful for bigger brands and global teams.
- Autonomy: By lowering your restrictions on how work gets done, you promote a culture of autonomy in your employer base and encourage employee engagement.
- Lower costs: By not restricting wireless access, you could potentially lower overhead technical costs.
What are the risks of using public WiFi for business?
Risks and concerns around using public WiFi for business have been in existence since the hard launch of public WiFi in coffee shops and restaurants in the early 2010s. The main concern is phishing and local network compromisation – which is a risk that ought to be considered in your cybersecurity plan for your hybrid or WFH organization structure.
However, it also prompts a second question: How big is the risk, really?
There are far more convenient and easy ways to attack someone’s network through pre-existing vulnerabilities – which could occur at any location or point in time.
A recent piece in the Washington Post went so far as to say that it is incredibly low-risk, especially with modern-day security systems. Between your (probably updated) security software, strong passwords and the probability of using sites with the HTTPS security protocol in place, there’s minimal risk in comparison to the risk that would have been present in earlier years and decades.
How can you protect your security with a WFH office structure?
Acknowledging that you will never truly be able to regulate the “process” of work is key to having success with a remote or partially WFH framework. To combat the risks preemptively, we recommend taking on a strategic defensive set of network policies and procedures to protect your most sensitive information.
For more information and to begin creating your custom cybersecurity plan, reach out to the team at CHIPS. Our specialists have created custom solutions for businesses for years and are able to help you execute your cybersecurity vision from the ground up. Connect with us today and start your planning process! 651.407.8555.