Brisbane companies using insecure wireless technology: Survey

15 per cent 'unaware of the risk'

Brisbane companies are using obsolete wireless technology to conduct business, an information security company has claimed.

In a statement to Computerworld Australia, Bridge Point Communications stated that a survey of wireless beacons located in Brisbane’s CBD found some 15 per cent of businesses are still using insecure obsolete wireless technology.

Manager of security practice at Bridge Point Communications, Dr David Ross, said Brisbane businesses may be unaware that their security could be impacted by such technology.

“Businesses are either unaware of the risk this poses or simply do not realise that outsiders are already accessing their networks to try to get Internet access or to see what may be of interest on the business systems,” he said in a statement.

Ross said insecure networks pose a high risk for businesses, which is compounded by a high level of complacency.

“This phenomenal level of complacency with regard to wireless network security is a recipe for disaster,” he said. “With the very high ratio of commercial to residential activity in the CBD, the vast majority of the insecure wireless access points in the CBD are connected to commercial networks.”

The data accounts for all public access points and wi-fi hot spots in the Brisbane CBD indicates little change since the last survey in 2008, that showed some 30 per cent of Brisbane CBD locations were still using the insecure Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption protocol.

Ross said that legislation and PCI compliance regulations may force Brisbane businesses to take the security of their network more seriously.

“It would be prudent for any business owner to investigate their wireless networks and ensure that they are not still running obsolete and insecure protocols, thereby leaving themselves open to attack and possible financial penalties.”

The insights into Brisbane’s security woes come as Bridge Point Communications recently claimed that PCI compliance knowledge is sorely lacking in Australia.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

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