Business Opportunity?

A good computer security engineer might have an opportunity as a consultant in Panama. I had to drive to downtown David today and for fun, I took my laptop and scanned for wireless connections.

I was surprised how many times I found up to 5 or 6 wireless networks that were within range of my car. Many of the connections were for businesses. Some were non-business.

Some of both types were broadcasting their SSID and many were not using encryption. A network security analyst would go crazy. For maximum security, the broadcast SSID mode should not be enabled and at minimum they should be using WPA encryption.

The broadcast SSID mode is used to make it easy to connect. Security experts want it difficult to connect to a network. Thieves want it easy to connect.

If you know of people that are running a wireless network, ask them if they have “Broadcast SSID” enabled. If they don’t know what you are talking about, then they probably do. The next question would be, “What type of encryption are you using – WEP or WPA?” If you get another glazed look, then they probably don’t have encryption enabled.

If you know a Panama business that is using wireless networking within their office, then the same questions could apply.

Big brother may not be watching, but there is a good chance that somebody is.

7 thoughts on “Business Opportunity?

  1. Don,

    I’ve never used a wireless network, or an internet cafe, and know how to read and write on a computer, but that’s about it. I do know that some laws are not strictly followed in Panama. Is is possible that some cafes take a free ride on an unsecured wireless network, and thus might be really insecure?

    James

  2. Hi James.

    I feel comfortable that all Internet Cafes have their own direct connection. That is not to say that they are secure. Many are very lax on using anti-virus and spyware programs. The only real secure situation in an Internet cafe is to use your own PC and thenyou are in control of your own security.

    If you are using a wireless connection, then security becomes a little more complex. A wireless connection is unsecured from your laptop to the point it connects to the wireless router. If the wireless connection is not encrypted, then it is completely unsecured.

    If the connection is encrypted (WPA only), then the security will be the same as a wired connection.

  3. Ray,

    I have thought that line of work in Panama as well, but I think most people who have unsecured networks have to be approached cautiously. Even in the U.S., I’ve seen the ignorant accuse would-be security consultants of cyber blackmail. Their argumentative question is: What gives you the right to check my doors to see if they are secure? Try to get a consulting fee out of that!

  4. I agree. An approach might be to get an article written and published in a newspaper. If the dangers were presented to the right people, then someone would get to fix the problem.

  5. I am 100% with you all, I live in Florida and I have been in the IT industry all my life and despite of all the web information on wireless connection and how to secure your network you will be surprise that even here I find many businesses (medium size) not properly secured. Makes you wanna open an office in the interior de Panama and offer services to educate the end user…

  6. dear don-ray,

    you know how i said “i’ll never talk politics or religion with you” well i

    lied! health care has gone “online” not my choice the goverment

    decided that. we place everything from birth to grave in a pt. file.

    i will say it does make an md’s notes easier to read but it concerns

    me. enough said thank you for all that you do ellen

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