Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi, Kevin Jackson, Liz McMillan, John Walsh

Related Topics: Cloud Security

News Feed Item

AirTight Study of Financial Districts' Airspace Reveals Wi-Fi Security Risks

Key Findings Demonstrate a Pattern of Wireless Data Leakage and Poor Security Practices in Six U.S. Cities and London

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/13/09 -- There appears to be a very high incidence of wireless vulnerabilities and poor wireless security practices in the financial districts of seven cities according to the results of a survey released today by AirTight® Networks, the industry leader for wireless security and compliance solutions. AirTight issued the findings of its Financial Districts Scanning Report for wireless security vulnerabilities in the financial districts of New York, Chicago, Boston, Wilmington (DE), Philadelphia, San Francisco and London.

The key findings demonstrate a pattern of careless use of Wi-Fi access points and lack of knowledge about the vulnerabilities wireless can introduce into a business environment and how to protect corporate data. This follows the same patterns of wireless vulnerabilities that AirTight found in its Airport Scanning Reports last year, but with potentially much more significant consequences to an already battered industry. That is that the airspace in these financial districts is dominated by open or poorly encrypted (WEP) wireless access points (APs). Many of these APs were using ineffective security practices such as hiding the SSID, and personally identifiable information was leaking out.

Key Findings

-- 57% of the airspace scanned was dominated by open or WEP encrypted
   access points.
     -- Data flowing through these access points can be sniffed, decoded,
        captured and misused
     -- Open and WEP encrypted access points pose a serious risk when
        connected to an internal network
     -- Within AirTight's 5 minute scans, several instances of open APs
        were connected directly to internal networks and leaking the
        identities of active users including company executives
-- 61% of open and WEP encrypted access points were consumer or SOHO grade.
     -- These cannot be detected or centrally managed using wired
        security tools
     -- Many were found to be operating in the default factory mode
-- 13% of active Wi-Fi client devices (laptops, iPhones) were operating
   in ad hoc mode.
     -- These were actively looking to connect to viral networks such as
        "free public Wi-Fi," "free Internet access"
     -- These are also vulnerable to wi-phishing or honeypotting
-- 27% of open APs were hiding their SSIDs in the mistaken belief that
   this offers protection from sniffing.
-- Enterprise grade APs were found configured in WEP mode instead of WPA
   or WPA2 even though these APs can support the stronger encryption.

"In light of some rather spectacular data breaches involving financial information in recent years -- both wired and wireless -- in financial districts we expected to find well protected and configured networks, open or guest access isolated from corporate networks and strict enforcement of Wi-Fi security policies," said Pravin Bhagwat, CTO of AirTight. "What we found instead should give pause to security administrators working in industries with highly sensitive information such as financial services."

In its study of 43 companies that suffered a data breach last year, the Ponemon Institute found the total cost of coping with the consequences rose to $6.6 million per breach, up from $6.3 million in 2007 and $4.7 million in 2006. The cost per compromised record in 2008 rose 2.5% over the year before to $202 per record, according to the study being released last week.

"In this time of heightened scrutiny of banks and other financial services organizations, a major breach would certainly be a blow to their reputation as well as their bottom line," continued Bhagwat. "Wireless networks provide great efficiencies for corporations and, more and more, employees are demanding the ability to work anywhere at anytime. However, when the data that is being transmitted is so sensitive, all methods available to protect it must be undertaken. It is time for all of these enterprises and government agencies to recognize the risks and implement best practices."

Wireless Security Checklist

While there are many ways to protect your network from wireless breaches, AirTight has developed a list of best practices to get started. A few are listed here.

--  Enable encryption, to protect the data that is being transmitted. Opt
    for WPA, preferably WPA2, rather than WEP.
--  Conduct ongoing wireless security audits and scans to detect the
    presence of unauthorized Wi-Fi devices and activity in your premises.
    

The full Wireless Security Checklist can be found on AirTight's Website page for the Financial Districts Scanning Report.

How the study was conducted

For this study, AirTight set out to understand the risks to data from financial services organizations created by poor security practices. Just as with its earlier Airport Studies, AirTight continues to find troubling results regarding the security posture of private Wi-Fi networks as well as the rapid spread of viral Wi-Fi networks.

AirTight wireless security researchers doing "war walks" took five minute scans at randomly selected locations in the financial districts of seven cities -- New York, Chicago, Boston, Wilmington (DE), Philadelphia, San Francisco and London -- from February through April, 2009. Overall, the signal from more than 2000 Wi-Fi access points was sampled. The scans were typically collected near the buildings where financial institutions were housed including banks and stock exchanges.

You can now follow AirTight on Twitter @AirTightWIPS

Read and comment on the AirTight Networks Blog

If you would like more information on the AirTight Financial District Study, please contact Della Lowe at [email protected] or at 650-934-8191 (office) or 650-868-5829 (mobile).

About AirTight

AirTight Networks is the global leader in wireless security and compliance solutions providing customers best-of-breed technology to automatically detect, classify, locate and block all current and emerging wireless threats. AirTight offers both the industry's leading wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) and the world's first wireless vulnerability management (WVM) security-as-a-service (SaaS). AirTight's award-winning solutions are used by customers globally in the financial, government, retail, manufacturing, transportation, education, health care, telecom, and technology industries. AirTight owns the seminal patents for wireless intrusion prevention technology with 10 U.S. patents and two international patents granted (UK and Australia), and more than 25 additional patents pending. AirTight Networks is a privately held company based in Mountain View, CA. For more information please visit www.airtightnetworks.com

AirTight Networks and the AirTight Networks logo are trademarks; AirTight and SpectraGuard are registered trademarks of AirTight Networks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

Media Contact
Della Lowe
T: 650.934.8191
Email Contact

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.