With the rising cost of mobile data, public and insecure Wi-Fi networks (lacking encryption) are becoming increasingly common methods for employees to stay connected on the go.

In fact, overall Wi-Fi traffic currently exceeds cellular traffic. This disparity isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Cisco predicts that by 2021, 63% of total mobile data will be on Wi-Fi. Moreover, according to our data, the ratio of Wi-Fi to cellular data usage for the average employee is 3:1.
As with the rising popularity of almost everything, there comes an increase in efforts to exploit it. Wi-Fi attacks are becoming a staple mobile threat, with vulnerabilities like KRACK making headlines globally.
At Wandera, we’ve taken note of this ongoing trend. We’re stepping up our threat remediation abilities to ensure your mobile fleet is protected from Wi-Fi risks and vulnerabilities at all times. We’ve accomplished this with the launch of Failsafe Encryption.

The Wi-Fi risk

Most of you are likely aware of the risk that Wi-Fi presents to your mobile devices. If you’re not as informed as you’d like to be, take a moment to read our Wi-Fi security report.
When it comes down to it, however, many don’t think the risks apply to them. To protect yourself and your organization, it’s more important than ever to equip yourself with the facts.
The average corporate device connects to a Wi-Fi network 12 times per day.
Does this sound like a high number? The fact is, you may not even realize your device is making these connections. Our phones are automatically programmed to search for Wi-Fi networks in the background, connecting to any known networks they find.
But these hotspots probably aren’t dangerous, right? Inherently, they may well not be. But the fact remains that using relatively cheap and readily available tools, minimally skilled hackers can easily eavesdrop and monitor online traffic to capture valuable private information (even on seemingly legitimate networks).
That’s why no one should be surprised that:
4% of corporate mobile devices have come into contact with a man-in-the-middle attack in the past month.
These MiTM attacks range from surface level data leaks to motivated attacks that compromise the device trust model.
It might be tempting to think these Wi-Fi attacks are only happening in notoriously dangerous places. Our data, however, tells a very different story. It shows that privacy and security-conscious countries, such as those in Western Europe and North America, are vulnerable to Wi-Fi attacks.

Failsafe Encryption

The need for protection against mobile Wi-Fi attacks was never a question for us here at Wandera. It has always been a priority for us to not only detect malicious or insecure hotspots but to give admins the option to set alerts for both themselves and end users in the case of an attempted connection.
What we began to realize, however, was that regardless of the notifications sent out, employees may opt to use a corrupted hotspot. Obviously, this isn’t advisable behavior, but in some cases, employees may not take the risk to their devices seriously. Additionally, there may be times where a user urgently requires a connection and is put in a very difficult situation.
That’s why we built Failsafe Encryption. This new automated threat response, allows admins to set policy that protects mobile traffic in the case of a risky hotspot or MiTM attack being detected. It does this by automatically launching a Virtual Private Network when a vulnerability in the network is recognized.
In the case where previously, we’d simply send a notification, we now also automatically put a failsafe method of protection in place. This provides a secure tunnel for mobile traffic, encrypting it as it travels to and from the device. This protects sensitive data from falling into the hands of the hacker on the network.

When does it come out?

If you’re already an Enterprise Mobile Security customer using iOS devices, you will receive access to Failsafe Encryption in the next few weeks. Just navigate to “Security Policy”, located under “Policy” to set up your response to infrastructure threats.
This feature was built specifically with customers who have iOS fleets in mind. Many of whom shared their feedback with us that this was an important issue that needed solving. The need is less pressing for those with predominantly Android estates. These users already enjoy similar functionality provided by Google, which is available on many devices with the latest version of Android OS.
If you’re not already using Wandera to protect your mobile estate, get in touch with one of our mobility experts now for next-level protection.