Public WiFi & WFH is a Risky Combo, Says New Report

The UK finance sector is opening itself up to more cyber risk as WFH becomes the default position for employees, who are increasingly using unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots while working, leaving businesses “extremely vulnerable” to hackers, they fear.

Leading national business group The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and UK cyber security specialist Linten Technologies said the emergence of remote working and the convenience of public networks made cyber-breaches “incredibly simple” to achieve.

“You are never far from an unsecured network – whether at a hotel, café, train station or airport,” says Robert Downes, FSB development manager for Greater Manchester. Combine that with remote working pushing more financial service employees onto unsecured networks, and the concern is businesses across the UK are leaving themselves wide open to cybercrime.

“Many employees just don’t realise just how risky public Wi-Fi access points are, but they are very easily hacked and make using them a no-no. The simple analogy I’ve heard from experts before is that if you found an open bottle of beer on the bar on a night out, you wouldn’t dream of drinking it just because it’s there. The same goes for free Wi-Fi.”

PwC’s Remote Work Survey revealed 61% of CFOs in the financial sector were planning to make remote working “permanent for roles that allow it.”

INCREASING RISK PROFILE

“The risk to financial services companies is huge,” says Steven Allan, CEO and founder of Manchester-headquartered IT services provider Linten Technologies. With 44% of UK adults believing that public Wi-Fi is ‘safe’, the use of unsecured networks is literally giving cybercriminals the keys to the kingdom. A staggering 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. So, the first thing businesses need to do is educate employees about the dangers of unsecured networks. We advise our clients that it is safer to hotspot from your phone using mobile data, than join an unsecured network if you’re out and about.”

For more information on cyber security advice, contact www.linten.co.uk

About alastair walker 10120 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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