Quick-and-Dirty (And Dangerous) Wi-Fi Retail Deployments Likely To Be Rampant In 2012

Written by Evan Schuman
November 28th, 2011
As mobile trials of all kinds kick into highgear next year, there's almost certainly going to be a trend that will signal very bad security news: a soaring number of retail Wi-Fi trials, many of which will likely be quick-and-dirty efforts to be able to support customers who want to use mobile in-store. Wi-Fi security is bad enough as is, let alone what will happen with lot of slapdash rollouts.

Some of the security problems with Wi-Fi are well known and there isn't a security consultant worth the paranoia they sell who can't spout their list of the dumbest retail Wi-Fi deployments. There is a small ray of hope. Although Wi-Fi is often quite insecure, the newest Wi-Fi offerings today are a tad bit better. If we can assume that many of the new deployments will be using somewhat more robust approaches, it might be a somewhat smaller catastrophe. Remember that a Wi-Fi mobile disaster doesn't have to be a security breach. Given how easy it is for a children's toy or a wireless microphone to disrupt Wi-Fi and potentially halt mobile payments or, even worse, cause double billings, even a data-secure network could cause mobile nightmares. Ahhh, the joys of Wi-Fi.