Wi-Fi Networks Get Short Shrift On Security Front Opening CUs, Banks To Fraud
While most financial institutions are extremely effective at protecting their wired communication networks, few give wireless network access the same level of security and attention, according to a new study.
The new TowerGroup report "Wi-Fi Security: The Threats are Ruthless, the Solutions are Available, Are YOU Protected?" suggests "as increasing occurrences of data theft hit the financial services industry, Wi-Fi, if not properly managed, will emerge as a channel of significant threat to reputation and customer trust."
"The first and perhaps the most onerous threat from Wi-Fi for financial institutions is rooted in faulty corporate IT strategy," said Bob Egan, research director of the TowerGroup Emerging Technologies practice and co-author of the research. "Institutions that choose not to support Wi-Fi officially are not immune to security threats via Wi-Fi technology. Though they may choose not to purchase and support devices like laptops with embedded Wi-Fi capability, employees may still own and use such devices."
"Remediation against Wi-Fi security risks starts with an acknowledgement that the risks exist," said Josh Kessler, analyst in the Emerging Technologies practice at TowerGroup and co-author of the research. "A forward-looking IT strategy combined with the right systems will enable an institution to benefit from Wi-Fi's advantages of flexible access and ubiquitous connectivity-while striking a balance between the cost of ownership requirements of an institution and its security responsibilities."