3 Reasons why Secure Access is Key to WiFi Monetization

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Monetizing guest WiFi is on the list for most venue businesses. Guest WiFi is the door to the virtual world of the Internet for your visitors and customers. Guest WiFi monetization is about conducting business with your visitors over free WiFi access. In the physical world, your customers are least likely to do business with you if you don’t come across trustworthy and credible to them. Just like in the physical world, the virtual world of customers also commands your business to be highly trustworthy. Trust in the world of the Internet is all about faith and perception. You can not conduct or promote online commerce unless you come across as authentic and trustworthy to your online users.

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Cost of a single instance of identity theft can leave a significant dent on your business. WiFi monetization is a double-edged sword, and it can work on either side unless you don’t take care of the security of the users. The widespread usage of public WiFi is a great threat to customer data; guest WiFi is one of the biggest honey pots that fraudsters are focusing.

There are multiple avenues of security to be tightened when it comes to guest WiFi, including access security, data security, access point security, and channel security.

Let’s look at 3 specific reasons why providing secure access is key to success in guest WiFi monetization.

Identity Protection for Visitors

Visitors are often asked to provide their personal and confidential data in the guest WiFi captive portal. At this point, it is vital for visitors or customers to feel comfortable sharing their credentials. The best practice is not to store the access credentials during or after the authentication process but simply redirect them to the social media site that is being used for performing the authentication.

Considering that the researchers in WPA2 have found a severe security vulnerability, it is essential for venue businesses to invest in safeguarding secure access to guest WiFi. Reportedly the WPA2 vulnerability allows attackers within range of weak access point or device to sniff the passwords, emails, and other data.

When the customers see that their data or access has been compromised, they are least likely to engage with your online offers. Users not engaging is a significant setback to the guest WiFI monetization aspirations of the organization.

Rogue Access Points

As per a survey conducted by Norton, 60% of the consumers think that using public WiFi is worse than using public toilets. One of the reasons for this is that consumers would never know what went wrong during their online journey with a guest WiFi. The rogue access point is one such hack that is being used quite often to dupe users.

If you are a reputed venue business who offers a high-quality guest WiFi, then you might want to believe that there is a WiFi access point nearby your place of business with the same name as the one that you have been using. While you insist users to input username and password to access the Internet, the rogue access points get your guests connected straight into the Internet. Generally, the rogue access points tend to observe and record all the traffic coming from your visitors.

The rogue access point silently captures visitor identity data. Fraudsters sell this data in the dark net or deep web.

This kind of attacks come into the light quite late after there has been significant commerce conducted on the user identity data.

A large amount of user data is generally collected and sold into the hands of fraudsters, making the enterprises lose their credibility. Their customers and visitors are highly unlikely to use their network ever again. The governments force enterprises to shut down online services temporarily, which negatively impacts the perception of the enterprise.

Secure Content Promotion

Content promotion is the key to WiFi monetization. Content promotion is about showing relevant offers and messages to the visitors while they are browsing over the free guest WiFi. When the venue business marketers do not use WiFi analytics and keep pushing the advertisement content intrusively into the user’s online journey, users take it negatively. Users tend to find it a spamming behavior and a spammer is naturally linked to being a fraudster thereby making the enterprise lose the credibility. For the content promotion to be relevant, contextual and personalized it is important to understand the profile of the user logged in without being able to identify the user in the physical world i.e. their PII data is not captured. WiFi monetization success is directly correlated to the relevance of content promotion and contextual content promotion is directly linked to secure access to guest WiFi.

While monetization takes all the limelight, it is critical for enterprise decision makers to be wary of the impact of secure access provisioning to the end users so that organizational risks are better managed. Though your choice of vendor might be good at WiFi monetization, you might need to consider consulting a partner who brings across the public WiFi security perspective to the implementation of the guest WiFi solution. Identifying the essential need to evaluate and implement secure access with guest WIFi, RaGaPa offers free security consultations to venue businesses so that they are covered from the operational risks of WiFi monetization. You may contact RaGaPa here with all your questions around security for guest WiFi solutions.


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