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Mobile Security Showdown: Cellular Network vs. Wi-Fi

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Mobile Security Showdown: Cellular Network vs. Wi-Fi

Today’s business relies on mobile devices. A report shows that 90 % of people younger than 30 own a smartphone, so businesses hiring millennials should be thinking about how to secure all those mobile devices used to access company data.

Stats on Company-Owned Mobile Devices

A recent Wi-Fi security report from Wandera analyzed a set of 100,000 company-owned mobile devices and found that 74% of wireless data took advantage of a nearby Wi-Fi network. 12% of those Wi-Fi hotspots lacked any type of encryption to secure the connection. Furthermore, only 4% of these company-owned devices were exposed to accidental or deliberate “man-in-the-middle” attacks.

What’s a Man-in-the-Middle Attack?

It’s when a computer which has contracted malware allows another device to steal data that’s flowing through its WiFi connection. Once the machine has connected to a WiFi connection, the malware is transferred to the network, infecting the entire network and giving the hacker free rein.

Cellular is Safer? Who Knew?

Surprisingly, cellular networks are much more secure than Wi-Fi, since cellular providers use encryption. Nobody seems to know this, and users prefer Wi-Fi connections over a cellular provider connection. One statistic claims that 60% of people will connect to public Wi-Fi rather than use their cellular data, even if it’s employer paid. Symantec’s Wi-Fi Risk Report states that people believe their data is more secure over Wi-Fi. 53% of people can’t even tell the difference between a secured network and an unsecured network, and 90% of consumers have put personal information at risk using public Wi-Fi.

Firewalls at Least

At the business level, it’s not as bad. Businesses use firewalls to secure networks from online threats by checking data that enters them. By partitioning information behind the firewall, you’re making your business that much more secure against online threats. However, once a user accesses your organization’s Wi-Fi, they can access the entire network that’s hosted on it, including any servers or confidential information.

Best Option? Virtual Private Network

Your best option is probably a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which adds another layer of security by implementing encryption. A VPN protects your data by funneling it through a secure encryption, shielding it from view by hackers. This is a staple of remote computing because it’s really the only way to send your sensitive company data safely. A VPN protects you from data breaches and is a logical security choice when everybody is mobile.

Should your business have a VPN for mobile data security? Quikteks can help. To learn more, give us a call at (973) 882-4644.