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Wireless security is a whole different animal than wired network security. Since WiFi is a wireless technology, intrusion attempts are much easier because they are possible without physical access to the network or building. Therefore, this is one area of IT security where you don?t want to make any mistakes.
Not protecting laptops & mobile devices on public WiFi

There are two main vulnerabilities of using public WiFi hotspots. Firstly, if a user connects a laptop that has network shares, the files could be exposed to the other hotspot users. Secondly, if there?s a WiFi eavesdropper nearby monitoring the airwaves, they could capture the passwords or hijack accounts for unencrypted websites and services that the user connects to.

Windows has a network classification feature where the user can choose the public network type, or answer no when asked about enabling file sharing and discovery, and then any network shares on the laptop are disabled while connected to the network. Typical users, however, might not understand all this, so do your best to educate them.

Protecting a user?s WiFi traffic while connected to open hotspots takes more effort. I?d first ensure all the company or corporate logins the user might utilize are encrypted, such as email access. Though most webmail systems provide SSL encrypted access by default, many POP3, IMAP, and SMTP servers still do not when using an email client like Outlook.

For additional assurance that user traffic is secured while on open WiFi networks, consider setting up VPN access on laptops and mobile devices so all the user traffic goes through the encrypted tunnel and isn?t exposed to any nearby eavesdroppers. If you don?t have a company VPN server or don?t want to use it for that purpose, consider subscribing to a third-party VPN service. Some VPN providers offer client programs that can automatically enable the VPN connection while on unencrypted WiFi networks.

Takeaway: Protecting users on open WiFi networks takes effort on both your parts. Ideally you should utilize VPN connections, but also consider removing any network shares so there?s not a chance they?ll be shared to others. Plus ensure their email and other services they log into are always encrypted. Read more in a previous article of mine about securing public WiFi connections.