County requires wireless security.
If what is happening in Westchester County, N.Y., is any indicator, commercial businesses that offer public Internet access See how to access the Internet. and/or maintain personal information on a wireless network may be faced with another security concern. The county has passed what is believed to be the first law requiring local businesses to secure their wireless networks to protect their customers against identity theft and other computer fraud.
County Executive Andy Spano signed the bill into law in April, mandating "minimum security measures Noun 1. security measures - measures taken as a precaution against theft or espionage or sabotage etc.; "military security has been stepped up since the recent uprising"
security " be taken by all commercial businesses that collect personal customer information, such as social security numbers, credit card or bank account information, and also have a wireless network. In addition, businesses that offer public Internet access must also "conspicuously post a sign" advising customers to "install a firewall or other computer security measure when accessing the Internet."
"We know there are many unsecured wireless networks out there, and any malicious individual with even minimal technical competence technical competence,
n the ability of the practitioner, during the treatment phase of dental care and with respect to those procedures combining psychomotor and cognitive skills, consistently to provide services at a professionally acceptable level. would have no trouble accessing information that should be kept confidential," Spano says. "It would be nice if these businesses took the necessary steps on their own to ensure their networks were kept secure, but the sad fact is that many don't. That's why we're taking it one step further and making it a law."
"Internet cafes The high-tech equivalent of the coffee house. However, instead of playing chess or having heated political discussions, you browse the Internet and discuss the latest technology. CDs, DVDs, games and other "cyber stuff" are also generally available. are a part of an increasingly mobile marketplace and this will help create a safer environment for people conducting their personal business on the go," says Legislator LEGISLATOR. One who makes laws.
2. In order to make good laws, it is necessary to understand those which are in force; the legislator ought therefore, to be thoroughly imbued with a knowledge of the laws of his country, their advantages and defects; to Clinton I. Young Jr., whose committee reviewed the new law. "Businesses will also begin to realize how vulnerable their networks can be if not secured and go one step further in protecting their customers."
When the law was being proposed last fall, a team from the Department of Information Technology showed how easy it was to find vulnerable networks by taking a drive through downtown White Plains. Using a laptop computer equipped with easily available software, they came across 248 wireless hotspots in less than half an hour. Out of those, 120 lacked any visible security at all. Many users failed to even provide a name for their network and instead were using the standard name used as a default in the product. This clearly marked them as a potential target to hackers.
"While we stopped short of hacking into anyone's private network, others might not be as considerate con·sid·er·ate
1. Having or marked by regard for the needs or feelings of others. See Synonyms at thoughtful.
2. Characterized by careful thought; deliberate. ," Spano says. "Someone sitting in a car across the street or in a nearby building could invade any of these networks and steal unprotected confidential information Noun 1. confidential information - an indication of potential opportunity; "he got a tip on the stock market"; "a good lead for a job"
steer, tip, wind, hint, lead ."
Security measures mandated by the law can be as simple as installing a network firewall, changing the system's default SSID (Service Set IDentifier) The name assigned to a wireless Wi-Fi network. All devices must use this same, case-sensitive name to communicate, which is a text string up to 32 bytes long. (network name) or disabling dis·a·ble
tr.v. dis·a·bled, dis·a·bling, dis·a·bles
1. To deprive of capability or effectiveness, especially to impair the physical abilities of.
2. Law To render legally disqualified. SSID broadcasting. A retail establishment, for example, that uses a wireless network to process credit card transactions could install a firewall.
A first violation of the law will result in a warning, giving the offender 30 days to remedy the situation. A second violation will result in a $250 fine and any further violations will mean a $500 fine. Are you listening Starbucks?