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Private Hotspots and the problems they present

Bring Your Own Network (BYON)Nowadays, the increasing trend in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) presents a significant point of concern for companies in terms of data security, as employees’ private devices are arguably more risky than corporate-controlled devices. Now companies and their data face the latest precarious trend: Bring Your Own Network (BYON).

Every smartphone is capable of creating its own Wi-Fi hotspot by activating ‘tethering’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tethering), for whatever internet-related task you may have. Also available for accessing the internet via your mobile device are the small mobile wifi routers branded Mifi (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetherin/Mifi), which are particularly handy when your company’s administrator has blocked access to potentially unsafe websites that you still wish to visit.

But those employees using their device on such mini-networks at the same time as being connected to the company’s network could possibly be circumventing the company’s security protection. Data on said devices is exposed to malicious software such as trojans and viruses, which can then be easily transferred to the company server.

IT administrators are hence strongly advised to provide, as well as the company’s own network, a second secure network for employees to connect to the internet with their personal devices. Although this then decreases the ability to monitor employees’ internet usage during work hours, the dangers of private mini-networks are high enough to outweigh such disadvantages. The high level of security provided by a virtual private network, or VPL, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Private_Network) provides a good solution, allowing employees internet freedom, whilst protecting companies and their data at the same time.

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