According to the Financial Times, business people using their laptops in Wi-Fi hotspots, such as at restaurants, hotels, airports, etc., are opening themselves up to being hacked.
And the problem is not isolated to malicious hackers—you may also get unwanted visits from “the competition.” In the article, Richard Hollis, CEO of the security firm Orthus, says “It’s actually happening: Competitive intelligence is being gathered.”
The financial times says “IT security experts who have carried out checks at hotels, railway stations, and other public places equipped with wireless Internet access have found the networks and users’ computers are often insecure.”
“I’m walking into corporations and commercial hotspots [Wi-Fi accessible places] that are finding things on their networks that they didn’t put there,” Hollis says. According to the article, beyond the danger of intelligence compromise, hackers can place child porn on the system, or use the system to attack a bank – and “the company who owns the network would be liable,” said Hollis.
But security need not be a problem. Hollis says that Wi-Fi is an “incredibly securable technology. Users need only disable file-sharing on their laptops and install a firewall to protect them from being hacked.”