Deloitte India has released the results of their survey titled, Wireless Security Survey, which was conducted in the month of September for Mumbai.
The survey was aimed at addressing the security risks in a wireless environment with special focus on Mumbai. According to the survey, a large number of wireless networks exist in Mumbai with either no or limited protection that can be easily compromised.
Many of these networks do not have baseline security measures implemented such as changing default manufacturer device names, use of strong encryption mechanisms and passwords etc.
The key findings for the survey are that the 6729 wireless networks seen, 36% appeared to be unprotected i.e. without any encryption, 52% were using low level of protection i.e. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption. Again, 12% were found using the more secure Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). This makes 88 % of the observed wireless networks relatively easy to compromise.
Nitin Khanapurkar, Senior Director, Enterprise Risk Services said, "Wireless Networks are mushrooming all over the country especially among home users and SME segment. Ease of use and affordability of plug and play devices are the key reasons for the increasing popularity of Wi-Fi. However the limited awareness related to security concerns and information regarding securing the devices has exposed users to potential misuse of unsecured Wireless Networks. We believe that increasing awareness is the first step in securing these networks. We intend to take this initiative to other cities and eventually across India."
The survey found out that the major risks that one might be exposed to including, unauthorised access to objectionable or banned sites, access to post objectionable material on websites, send threatening emails, extract bank account details causing monetary losses etc. This survey also provides guidelines for protecting wireless networks from unauthorized elements.