Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Janakiram MSV

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The belief that employees aren't capable of being trusted to remain secure at work is outdated and the days of scribbling passwords on Post-it notes are long gone.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
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
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 ...
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 ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis 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. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani 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. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata 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. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which...