For a long time, Starbucks has called itself the ‘Third Place,’ which they defined as the place between home and work.
And while it could be a great place for a cup of coffee or to work outside the office, the truth is if you or your employees ever work from anywhere but the office, they may be exposing your entire business to danger.
Public networks like those at coffee shops and hotels are virtual playgrounds for hackers and cybercriminals. They love to hang out on these ‘open networks’ and attack people who use them by stealing data, passwords and even bypassing normal security to easily install malware.
Others go so far as to create ‘evil-twin’ public networks that others join by calling it something like “hotel guest” and wait for unsuspecting businesspeople to log on so they can hijack their computer.
It doesn’t end there.
Working from home poses its own set of issues, causing gaping holes in your security.
Even if your home network is private, chances are you or your employees don’t have the same firewalls and security at home as you would using the company network.
Even if your employees are careful, are you sure their kids aren’t online clicking on links that let others infiltrate their network? Are kids as diligent about not clicking on e-mail links or opening files as you or your employees might be?
While you may have locks on your doors and a security system on your house, once a child who lives there opens the front door, none of that security matters, and it’s the same online.
But it’s not ALL doom and gloom!
You can protect your business, your employees and your family by having an IT company that makes sure you have the proper security, systems and monitoring on these networks.
With the right security, it can even be safe to work from your favorite ‘Third Place.’
But you can’t assume you’re protected. You need to ask your IT guy to show you documentation of how you are protected on public WiFi, at home or anywhere.
Or you can get an independent third party to check your security and see how your current IT holds up.