New technologies have brought unprecedented convenience and connectivity to our lives. Their evolution has also inherently created security and privacy challenges.
A Transforming Workplace
Wireless networks allow employees to work from anywhere, often using their personal devices. So how are businesses balancing staffer freedom and the protection of corporate data? Wireless networks have transformed how we work. Many employees can now work from anywhere with a steady signal, such as coffee shops, airports and airplanes. Within offices, they can roam freely, bringing laptops to meetings or quiet rooms while continuing to collaborate and access files online. Personal smartphones double as work devices. Cellular data has played a big role here, as has Wi-Fi, allowing data transfer at speeds previously reserved for wired connections. This freedom of movement has far-reaching implications for employee creativity if security can be kept in check.
The Varied 5G Landscape
The speed and increased bandwidth of 5G technology will be beneficial to consumers, but will also potentially enhance certain threats, like faster propagation of malware and bigger distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Compared to 4G, 5G networks have an improved ability to process information. That is, the ability to prevent threats by using enhanced intelligence. With the collected data, network operators can have better profiling for attackers and get intelligence from the widest range of sources possible – Yang Xiang, IEEE Senior Member, Dean of the Digital Research and Innovation Capability Platform, Swinburne University of Technology (Australia)
Public Wi-Fi and the Tradeoffs of Convenience
Public Wi-Fi can feel like a lifesaver when trying to work on the go, but there’s the risk that a hotspot has been set up deliberately to intercept traffic and tamper with data. Part of the set of enhancements recently announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance is a protocol called OWE (Opportunistic Wireless Encryption), which always encrypts a connection. You’re not getting the authentication. But it’s a replacement for open networks, and data is now always encrypted. No one can, in the clear, look at all the data being transmitted – Dorothy Stanley, IEEE Member