Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Mobile IoT, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Secure Authentication for Public Wi-Fi | @CloudExpo #IoT #BigData

Recent studies have found that 37 percent of office workers are regularly working remotely two or more days a week

Secure Authentication Is the Only Solution to Vulnerable Public Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has become a necessity of the digital age, and like everything, everyone loves it even more when it is free. Whether it's used to access a presentation at a new client meeting, to host a video conference call, or edit and email important documents, public Wi-Fi means nearly anywhere can become an office. Couple this with the fact that there are as many mobile devices on the planet as there are people, and businesses now have the most flexible and tech-saturated workforce in history.

Recent studies have found that 37 percent of office workers are regularly working remotely two or more days a week.[1] Hotels, cafés, restaurants, trains and airlines allow visitors to remain online. Flexible working has put demands on employees to be connected to corporate systems for as long as possible - even 24/7. Yet these inviting and convenient free hotspots are plagued with vulnerabilities, leaving huge security implications for both users and businesses.

The belief that employees aren't capable of being trusted to remain secure at work is outdated and the days of scribbling passwords on Post-it notes are long gone. Yet there is still a need to educate when it comes to public Wi-Fi and it remains one of many cyber threats to corporate systems and information. Most employees are now well aware of the dangers of bad password management and endpoint security, even if it is on a subconscious level, as they are used to undertaking their banking, shopping and multiple daily social interactions online. Problems arise when they simply don't know how to remain secure when working and accessing company systems remotely or if they are not provided with an appropriate security method. By logging in to free Wi-Fi networks - often mindlessly - employees are making information susceptible to yet another form of attack.

Public Wi-Fi networks, by their very nature, are a hotbed for silent cyber attacks, as a business's sophisticated security systems won't have any affect on them to protect users. Some may even say that breaching them is child's play, following reports of a seven-year-old successfully attacking one in less than 11 minutes.[2] Hotspots are more often than not left unencrypted, so information is openly presented, and without warning can be collected by hackers. By simply entering an email address - and some hotspots don't even ask for any user information to log on - millions of people can access the same networks. This giveaway of such a personal piece of information to a network that is so easy to access is terrifying and users need to consider where their data is being collected before handing it over.

Free hotspots are easy to set up, and even easier to replicate. One popular method of stealing information is to clone a network. For example, a popular high-street coffee shop will offer customers free Wi-Fi but without needing a password to access it. A hacker will take advantage of this by using the same network name to clone it, thus leaving the customer unaware of which one is genuine. This approach carries two benefits for the hacker as they have control of the clone network, with full access to information being shared on it, and avoid the criminal implications of breaching an existing network.

Cellular networks or VPNs are recommended as safer methods for accessing business applications and documents, but they also still carry major security risks that could lead to valuable information being stolen. The solution is a security system built on a zero knowledge foundation - such as tokenless two-factor authentication (2FA).

The immergence of 2FA has allowed businesses to empower their staff when it comes to corporate security, and acts as an extra layer of protection. It requires not only a username and password, but also something that only the user has on them (i.e. a physical token) to generate a one-time passcode (OTP). With digital crime and internet fraud an increasing concern, such methods of authentication have become increasingly prevalent.

However, whilst physical 2FA tokens can be easy to lose and expensive for companies to distribute and maintain, tokenless 2FA solutions just need an existing device, such as a phone or tablet, to provide employees with passcodes via e-mail, SMS or an app. In other words, workers don't need to worry about carrying around an additional physical token; they can just make use of the devices they already have.

Yet this is not just a convenience issue; this is a security one too. 2FA doesn't necessarily guarantee bullet-proof security as any manufacturer that creates cryptographic keys, also known as a seed records, must trust that their copy of the keys can't be accessed by hackers. This is why a zero knowledge foundation is important, as it makes it impossible for malware on a smartphone to capture the seed records because they are split into two parts: one created on the client server and one generated using characteristics of the mobile device.

The vulnerability of public Wi-Fi means businesses need to give their users a single method of authentication to remove security fears when needing to log in to a host of corporate systems and web-based business applications. Asking employees to login with a variety of passwords, codes and tokens has swiftly become archaic as technology has allowed businesses to adopt much more streamlined and secure solutions.

Albert Einstein once said: "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Whilst connected to a welcoming but insecure public hotspot, even the smallest leak of an email address could lead to cybercriminals learning about a user's entire digital footprint. From a user perspective, it is easy to become complacent and believe a single password is strong enough to protect corporate systems and data from all cyber threats. The truth is that there is a much bigger picture to consider, and a secure solution - such as 2FA - needs to be adopted to ensure hundreds of other cyber threats, as well as vulnerable Wi-Fi, are nullified.

With the steep growth of remote working and online communication becoming a necessity, using public Wi-Fi is sometimes a temptation employees can't ignore. Public hotspots are just one of many gateways that allow hackers to attack businesses, but by using 2FA employees are equipped with a consistent authentication method to remain protected against cybercrime, so that sensitive corporate information is no longer put at risk.


1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2015/10/01/survey-concludes-many-remote-employees-not-working-fully-efficiently/

2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2919762/Hacking-Wi-Fi-s-child-s-play-Seven-year-old-shows-easy-break-public-network-11-minutes.html

More Stories By Steve Watts

Steve Watts is co-founder of SecurEnvoy. He brings 25 years’ of industry experience to his role at the helm of Sales & Marketing for SecurEnvoy. He founded the company with Andrew Kemshall in 2003 and still works tirelessly to grow the company in new and established markets. His particular value is market and partner strategy; having assisted in the development and design of the products, designed the pricing strategy and recurring revenue model that has been so key to the businesses growth and success.

Before starting SecurEnvoy, Steve was responsible for setting up nonstop IT, the UK’s first IT security reseller in 1994. Prior to setting out on his own, Steve worked as Sales Director at the networking and IT division of Comtec, and had started his career in office solution sales in 1986.

Outside of work, Steve is a keen rugby fan. He also enjoys sailing, mountain biking, golf and skiing

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, 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.
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.