GSS advises companies to secure their WiFi to prevent freeloaders

29 July 2008

Global Secure Systems (GSS), the value-added IT security systems integrator and reseller, is advising companies to tighten up their security procedures when it comes to WiFi access, in order to prevent third parties running up a bill on their account.

"BT's broadband wholesale division has revamped the charging system it imposes on most of the UK's Internet service providers and, in many cases, this looks likely to result in ISPs enforcing data caps and fair usage policies on many more of their customers," said David Hobson, GSS' managing director.

"Most companies have fair usage policies written into their business broadband contracts, but many ISPs have not enforced these policies to date. That situation is changing and, to prevent freeloaders running up big bills on a company's broadband account, we're advising firms to tighten up their WiFi security to prevent this happening," he added.

Hobson's comments come after reports from Australia - where broadband data usage is usually metered - suggest that consumers are actively seeking out unsecured WiFi connections from third parties in order to download movies, music and TV programming.

"The term is called WiFi hi-jacking and Police in the State of Victoria down under have received hundreds of reports of firms and peoples' broadband being hi-jacked - and bills being run up - without their knowledge or consent," he explained.

According to Hobson, with the latest generation WiFi routers increasing the effective range of signals, and the increasing use of business parks, industrial estates and rented offices, it is almost impossible to know which third party has used up all your broadband data allocation without permission.

"The solution, quite simply, is to stop this happening in the first place, and ensure that guests in your offices are given a WiFi access password that changes on a regular basis, as well as changing your main office WiFi password much more regularly," he said.

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