As mobile data consumption rises, so will cases of piracy from employees using unsecured Wi-Fi networks to avoid using mobile data allotments. This is particularly true for employees that travel overseas; a recent European case highlights the potential risk for employees and organizations that rely on unsecured public networks.
In this case, a business in Munich was accused of indirect liability by Sony because its unsecured network was used to illegally download music. For now, the business won the first round and it will not be held liable for enabling music piracy.
There are several other issues that enterprises must consider. First, enterprises should not operate Wi-Fi networks that are accessible to the public without password protection as it adds extra costs to the enterprise. Although the Wi-Fi network may appear to have a fixed cost regardless of the number of users, employees will experience slower service if the public uses its network.
Enterprises need reporting and systems to monitor the volume of data traffic on its network. Thresholds should be set to alert telecom managers of high activity. These can be based on volume of activity to websites and/or regions that are being accessed through the network.
Second, when employees access an unsecured network, hackers may use the open network to break into their devices. Employees are likely to gain a false sense of security as Apple fights efforts for it to help the FBI break into an iPhone after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. Employees need to be reminded that breaches may still occur when data is transmitted over public networks.
Employers have responsibility to shareholders and customers to ensure that sensitive data is secure. With this recent EU decision, it is a good time to review security measures as each device presents an opportunity for hackers to access the corporate network.
Cost considerations are sure to rise. A good way to manage these expenses is through Wireless Expense Management or WEM programs. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) programs can also be used to manage policies for employee usage of both fixed and mobile services. TEM programs can address the emerging use of employee owned devices or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs which are often the weak points that are most attractive to cyber criminals.Tags: Managed Mobility Services