The Public Internet Is a Security Risk
/ Posted by Maya Franklin /
/ Mar 5, 2018 /
Most people are familiar with the risks of public wifi. The only way to avoid these risks is to use a private secured network. However, what most may be unaware of is that many of the same risks of using wifi hotspots apply to the wider public internet, especially for businesses.
Experts estimate that cybersecurity costs businesses over $445 billion each year. This includes direct costs—money or intellectual property stolen in cyber attacks—and indirect costs—costs associated with reputation damage, recovering from a cyber attack, and elevated cybersecurity measures. For small businesses, the average cost of a security breach is $117,000.
Each year the FBI receives 280,000 cybercrime reports. Since not all cyber attacks are reported, it’s likely that the actual number of attacks is higher than this figure. These are rather alarming statistics.
Obviously, cybersecurity is important. So, here’s what makes the public internet a liability.
The public internet expands hackers’ attack area
Ideally, online communication would involve only a sender and a recipient, with a bit of cable in between. In reality, communicating over the public internet involves routing information across many networks and a lot of cables.
Similar to a security breach on a wifi network, if a person gains access to one of the routers directing traffic on the public internet, they’re able to see all of the data that router is handling. This sort of security breach is commonly referred to as a “man-in-the-middle attack.”
When data is sent over the internet, each time it’s transferred through a router, this is called a “hop.” The trouble is that sending data over the public internet can involve up to 30 hops or more depending on your internet service and where the information is going. This means that data could be traversing 30 routers when it travels over the public internet, and each one of these is a potential vulnerability for man-in-the-middle attacks.
It takes an average of 197 days for a business to detect a security breach on their network, so it’s quite plausible that data on the public internet travels through multiple breached devices while in transit.
Fewer hops mean better security
To combat this issue, some companies have found ways to minimize the number of hops it takes data to reach its destination. The best way to accomplish this is to access enterprise services through a private optical fiber connection.
Utilizing a private connection means that company data is sent over a secured and sanitized connection, that can be controlled and monitored for subversive behavior. On a private network, there are fewer access points for man-in-the-middle attacks, and security breaches are detected and eliminated faster.
So, to help keep cybersecurity costs down, businesses should find a service provider that utilizes private networks to minimize the exposure of the public internet.
Telnyx delivers voice, messaging, and more while minimizing contact with the public internet. Telnyx provides secure call data transmission by pulling traffic off the public internet, and instead of transmitting call data over a global, private IP network.
Learn more about the ways CPaaS providers can mitigate the security risks of the public internet in our white paper, “The Requirements of an Enterprise CPaaS.”