Public internet access: who is responsible?

In the first of a series of articles looking at business issues faced by IT managers, we look at the steps companies need to take if they open their networks up to visitors.

The fine was apparently a result of a civil case, although some lawyers question the validity of the judgement against the unidentified pub company. However, concerns remain that copyright legislation, in particular, might cause companies to be challenged in the courts for their customers' actions.

"The fact is, that there is insufficient case law behind this," warns Jon Collins, managing director at IT analysts Freeform Dynamics. "The fact is that we are doing things now, that we were not doing 10 years ago the laws are completely inappropriate for the way people work now."

None the less, there is a strong case for limiting who can use the company network, and how they can use it.

Some IT departments might be tempted to simply turn off all wireless access points and there are some businesses where this might be an appropriate response.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

For others, it might be cost effective to hand over management of public WLAN access to a commercial hotspot provider, although this might not be the most user-friendly solution, especially where a business is looking to provide access to visitors or contractors, rather than, say, guests in a hotel or restaurant.

Fortunately, there is a middle ground between these options, and that is to combine the latest generation of wireless access points, with a robust policy for guest internet usage.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/hardware/354232/raspberry-pi-4-owners-complain-of-broken-wi-fi-when-using-hdmi
Hardware

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/354222/samsung-sails-past-apples-market-share-despite-smartphone-market-slump
Mobile Phones

Samsung sails past Apple's market share despite smartphone market slump

28 Nov 2019
Visit/mobile/google-android/354189/samsung-galaxy-a90-5g-review-simply-the-best-value-5g-phone
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019
Visit/business-strategy/digital-transformation/354201/boston-dynamics-dog-like-robots-sniff-out-bombs-for
digital transformation

Boston Dynamics dog-like robots sniff out bombs for Massachusetts police

26 Nov 2019