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Trust in Public Wi-Fi Networks Lacking

April 12, 2019

A survey completed at the 2019 RSA Conference illustrates the extremely low level of trust that security professionals have in our collective security systems. In a nearly unanimous response, 92 percent of respondents feel that cybersecurity is a bigger threat to the U.S. as compared to border security. And yet government, and media, attention seems far more focused on the latter.

Reflecting the impact that poor security practices has on overall trust, when asked which of the tech giants they trust the least with their data, not surprisingly 76 percent named Facebook. No other company even came close, while Amazon (25 percent), Apple (24 percent), Google (20 percent) and Microsoft (27 percent) all scored relatively evenly when asked who they trust most.

The results also demonstrated a significant lack of trust in public Wi-Fi networks, likely driven by the audience's deep understanding of the challenge of securing such networks and the risks introduced. To illustrate this, nearly half (45 percent) said they'd rather walk barefoot in a public restroom than connect to an unsecured public Wi-Fi network. This should be particularly alarming given the number of the employees they are charged to protect who use the Wi-Fi at coffee shops, airports, conferences, and numerous other public locations.

Additional results further highlight the lengths to which security professionals go to protect their devices, their own and their organization's data, and themselves. While it's technically been demonstrated that criminals can take over control of a laptop's camera, the incident of it is quite small. Regardless, 69 percent of respondents cover their laptop webcam. And demonstrating a best practice that they likely encourage all employees to adopt, nearly half (44 percent) implement 2-factor authentication on all of their devices.

"This survey surfaced many of the fears that we all suspected were out there. The threats to our information assets and privacy are more profound than ever and the situation is getting worse, not better," commented Lastline CEO, John DiLullo. "If RSA attendees are this concerned, it's a wake-up call that, as an industry, we still have a lot of work to do before the population-at-large can rest easily."

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