Unsecured wireless networks in 60% of Mumbai's WiFi enabled businesses: KPMG

KPMG announces results of wireless security survey; unsecured wireless networks common in Mumbai's businesses.

As part of the Mumbai Cyber Safety Week inaugurated on May 24, 2010, IT research firm KPMG announced the results of its wireless security survey. Held in May, this survey tries to identify the security risks in Mumbai's WiFi networks—relevant to avoid earlier incidents where terrorists used unsecured wireless networks in Mumbai to send terror emails.  According to the survey, though a large number of Mumbai's networks are protected, a significant number of unsecured wireless networks exist—with none or limited protection that can be easily compromised. 

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KPMG's survey reveals that around 2900 (or 60%) of Mumbai's business wireless networks lacked, or had limited protection that can be easily be compromised—with 1600 of these being completely unsecured wireless networks. The survey covered around 28000 wireless networks (business and residential) in Mumbai city. "It was surprising to find such a large number of unsecured wireless networks in Mumbai's businesses. It's essential to secure every wireless network, since the chain is only as strong as its weakest link," says Nitin Khanapurkar, the executive director of KPMG India.

The most surprising fact that came out of KPMG's survey is that around 5000 unsecured wireless networks in Mumbai use default network name settings, thus making them vulnerable to compromise. IT security expert Vijay Mookhi pointed out during the session that wireless networks in Mumbai have grown from 5000 to 28000 over the past two years. In 2008, 34% of Mumbai's wireless networks had no protection at all, as compared to 17% in the current year.

Emphasizing the need for stronger laws to curb cybercrime, Chandra Iyengar, the additional chief secretary for Maharashtra Government's home department strongly recommended a need for new laws and regulation so that Police can effectively address the ever-changing nature of cybercrimes. In an effort to reduce cybercrime, the Mumbai Police and Ministry of Information and Technology, Government of India, in collaboration with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), have organized the Mumbai Cyber Safety week. Mumbai Cyber Safety week aims to educate stakeholders like police, business, home users, students and medical professionals towards cyber threats, as well as its impact on society.

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