Less than half of UK firms are safeguarding corporate data from attacks on wireless networks, leaving a huge opportunity for VARs to cash in on.
Initial findings from the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) biennial Information Security Breaches Survey show that only 20 per cent of firms are using Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and other encryption tools to protect wireless networks. More than half admitted to having no additional security controls at all.
Despite this lack of security, mobile computing has rocketed. More than a third of firms now use wireless networks, compared with just two per cent when the survey was last conducted two years ago.
The survey of more than 1,000 UK businesses, conducted by a PwC research consortium, also found that wireless networks are becoming the focal point for external attacks, with nearly one in 10 businesses reporting attempted breaches.
"Businesses seem to be dragging their feet when it comes to introducing security controls over remote access to their systems," said Andrew Beard, PwC's advisory director leading the DTI survey.
Even more alarmingly, 23 per cent of firms admitted they did not know whether their wireless networks had been breached, with one-quarter relying on normal 'crackable' network password controls.
Dean Murphy, head of mobility at VAR Satsuma Solutions, said he believes the figures are higher than the survey suggests. "Wireless networking has had to be simplified to get market traction and that means the hardware comes out of the box wide open, with no security," he said.
"Vendors really should tell customers that the boxes they sell them are insecure by default. It's also not just security, but making sure you don't bleed into the spectrum."
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