Whether it’s in retail, a hotel, cafe or restaurant the presence of fast and reliable Guest WiFi at your venue is becoming a major factor for potential customers deciding where to take their business. But providing Guest WiFi does not come without potential risks to your business.
So, you want to provide Guest WiFi at your venue? What’s wrong with handing out a password to your existing network?
Because handing out the password to your WiFi could be as bad as handing over the keys to the building. Giving out the password to your WiFi network allows any guest with a small amount of technical knowledge to easily sniff everything on the network including point-of-sale systems (POS), printers, credit card machines and back-office systems. In addition to this, they can “see” other guest devices connected to the network. Most off-the-shelf or ISP provided WiFi equipment is not designed for guest access and hence, is extremely insecure.
Where Has This Happened Before?
The so-called ‘DarkHotel’ group is an example of malicious individuals that take advantage of these weaknesses in public networks. They have been active for over a decade, with a signature brand of cybercrime that targets business travellers with malware attacks using the WiFi in luxury hotels across the globe.
It Can Happen to You, Too
Renting your flat out while you’re away is a great way to make extra cash on the side with services like AirBnB. But what happens when your guests don’t exactly take everything with them when they go?
By giving your house WiFi password out to AirBnBers, you’re also giving them keys to the network. A talented (and even not so talented) hacker could easily slip a trojan or listening programme onto your network before they leave. And with the recent breaches discovered in the widely used WPA2 WiFi encryption, your network could be even less secure than you think.
But There’s a Better Way!
By making your guests login through a captive portal using their e-mail or social plugin you can gain powerful insights and value through a Guest WiFi network whilst keeping your business secure. A captive portal is a web page that the user of your network is obliged to view and interact with before they can access the internet. This is more secure than a password but will not allow malicious users to view anything else on the network. A branded login page will also make it a lot harder for hackers to imitate your network and cause customers to connect to them which will fully expose them to possible attacks.
How Stampede Can Help
Stampede can integrate with a wide range of existing hardware or we can supply our own range of routers which you can plugin and instantly start supplying better, secure Guest WiFi. It only takes 5 minutes to set up, with no technical knowledge required!
With Stampede you can create two separate networks: one for your customers and another for your back office business activity. This greatly reduces the risk of a malicious user on your guest network breaking into your critical business systems.
Instead of entering a password, guests login through a fully branded captive portal by entering their e-mail or logging in through Facebook. You can also ask marketing questions – such as postal/zip code, age or favourite drink – turning a security risk into a value-adding part of your business with much more personalised customer experience.
So what are you waiting for?