Wi-Fi network provider Xirrus revealed the results of its public Wi-Fi survey report today (25 October 2016) which highlighted users’ habits and perceptions of risk when connecting to public Wi-Fi.
The survey polled more than 2,000 business users, including executives and IT professionals, and found that while 91% of respondents do not believe public Wi-Fi is secure, 89% use it anyway.
The study reveals the growing disparity between the increased use of public Wi-Fi and the lack of precaution taken against security threats when connecting. Key findings include:
• 48% of Wi-Fi users connect to public Wi-Fi at least three times per week; 31% connect to public Wi-Fi every day.
• 91% of Wi-Fi users do not believe public Wi-Fi is secure, yet 89% use it anyway.
• When on public Wi-Fi, 83% of Wi-Fi users access their email, whether it’s for work or personal reasons, and 43% access work/job specific information.
• Nearly half (46%) of Wi-Fi users say their company has not offered cyber security training in the past year.
• Nearly 30% of respondents are not aware of ransomware as a threat, despite it being identified as one of the most pervasive cyber threats.
People expect public Wi-Fi at nearly every place they go – from coffee shops and hotels to airports and planes. Accessing Wi-Fi has become routine to most, yet few public networks protect users’ data when they connect. While these networks offer convenience, they rarely encrypt data, leaving passwords exposed and sensitive data vulnerable to hackers.
To make matters worse, employers often do not provide the tools or education necessary to help their increasingly mobile workforce stay vigilant while outside of their seemingly secure corporate or home network.
“Today, the convenience of using public Wi-Fi, for a variety of work and recreational uses, supersedes security, which puts both individuals and businesses at risk,” said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus.
“Most businesses do not offer secure connectivity options for customers and guests. And what makes connecting to public Wi-Fi even more risky is that employers rarely provide proper education around these security risks, or provide tools to keep their employee and company data safe.
“Using a secure personal network helps Wi-Fi users stay safe by creating a local network for the user that encrypts all data, and protects their devices from being visible on the public network,” said Buckley.
To download a free copy of Rolling the Dice with Public Wi-Fi survey report and infographic, visit: https://www.xirrus.com/rolling-the-dice-with-public-wi-fi/