Google street view is a handy tool to use when you need to know what that building your looking for should look like from your car. These Google cars traverse the U.S. and 30 countries taking pictures and sending back GPS data about locations around the world. Recently Google has admitted to the F.C.C. that they were in fact in violation of Federal privacy and wiretapping statues when these cars were equipped with WiFi detectors.
Google originally set out only to mark the locations of wifi devices. Recently though, for a yet explained reason, Google cars actually capture Wifi data on unencrypted Wifi connections. Google in the process capture emails, web data and other traffic from thousands of unsuspecting citizens.
Once notified Google did delete the data and reported themselves to the authorities and no further legal action has been taken but privacy watchdogs are not happy with the lack of follow up but the federal government.
For businesses this is a stark reminder of how easy it is to let data outside the network. Wifi is a handy tool but carries with it some risks when not properly configured and monitored. We recommend all our clients with Wifi secure them with at least WPA+ security or higher and all passwords on public facing routers meet complex password policies. Your firewall and routers simply cannot have the same basic passwords they must be complex and include no words in the dictionary.
Most businesses today think with anti virus and a firewall that is sufficient given they don’t have any “private” data or regulatory restrictions. Keep in mind that PCI compliance requires network security and applies to almost every company that takes credit cards.
Do you have reports confirming your networks safety?