The security of British Wi-Fi business access points has been criticised.

Questions have been raised on the safety of Wi-Fi after a survey revealed that 20 per cent of all business access points continue to be completely unprotected by any form of wireless encryption.

 

Despite RSA's survey revealing that there has been dramatic improvements in encryption, 20 per cent of London's business access points continue to be completely unprotected by any form of wireless encryption.

 

In comparison to other cities, where 97 per cent of New York City's corporate access points had encryption in place and 94 per cent in Paris 94 per cent, London was severely lacking.

 

RSA has called for businesses to upgrade to Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or WPA2 and leave WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy in the past. Sam Curry, Vice President, Identity and Access Assurance at RSA, said: “Such is the speed at which WEP can be routinely cracked that it barely constitutes paper-thin protection in the face of today's sophisticated hackers. We would strongly urge wireless network administrators to discount WEP as a viable security mechanism and upgrade to WPA – or stronger – without delay.

 

“It is also critical that business access points are protected by encryption – even if the corporate network itself can only be accessed via an encrypted VPN. Not using WPA1 or WPA2 can leave the organisations involved vulnerable to whole classes of attacks against both access points and wireless client computers.”

 

Curry said: “The potential consequences of unidentified users and applications accessing sensitive, private information are simply too serious to be ignored. We look forward to seeing deployments of advanced encryption outpacing the adoption of wireless itself in the year ahead.”