Many businesses and buildings protect themselves with sign-in systems. These systems require individuals to provide personal information in order to enter.
IBM recently discovered that this information is actually very accessible to strangers entering these buildings — as are the buildings themselves.
Thanks to the support of Dell Small Business solutions, we’re here to warn you about these systems, and how to keep your own businesses and buildings safe. Find out how Dell technology can help your small business here.
As reported by TechCrunch, IBM found 19 vulnerabilities in five widely used sign-in systems, allowing data from all of these systems to be accessed by outsiders. This level of accessibility is highly disturbing, particularly in urban areas where these systems are more common.
Below, you’ll learn exactly what’s wrong with these sign-in systems that makes them so vulnerable, as understanding the risks can help mitigate them. For those with businesses or buildings of their own, we also have some suggestions on how to make these sign-in systems safer.
Dell Small Business Solutions can help your business work well, and be safer. Find out exactly how by clicking here.
How security check-in systems are vulnerable to data theft and letting strangers in
The IBM study covered five popular sign-in systems: Lobby Track Desktop, eVisitorPass (also known as Threshold Security), EasyLobby Solo, Passport and The Receptionist. Each had a different number of vulnerabilities, and so different levels of security, and different ways of accessing information. Lobby Track Desktop had the most with seven vulnerabilities, and The Receptionist had the least with one.
These vulnerabilities in the systems can allow people to access the systems via the network they run on, and let them download visitor logs. These logs often contain names and phone numbers, and also often have driver’s license data, like addresses and ID numbers, since licenses are a common form of ID asked for in these systems.
In some cases, logs might even have Social Security information, so these vulnerabilities are incredibly dangerous. After all, with a name, address, and Social Security number, unsavory people could easily commit many different kinds of identity theft, just from being present in a building with an electronic sign-in system.
The vulnerabilities get worse than this though. These flaws in the sign-in systems can let visitors get into other applications on the same network as the system. That can lead to businesses being hacked, and their data leaked online, seriously harming customers.
Another hack? For businesses that kept the default administrator credentials on the check-in system, it was easy to access the entire application, allowing people to edit the visitor log (meaning they could erase that they were there, or say that they were when they weren’t), as well as issue badges and key cards that allow access to secure parts of businesses and buildings. This level of access endangers businesses and individuals physically, as well as with further potential data leaks or exposure. All because sign-in systems have very hackable vulnerabilities.
There’s one good part to all of this — these vulnerabilities can only be exploited in person. A hacker would have to be in a building in order to access the data from a sign-in system, and that does make it more difficult for them to carry out hacks, and to not get caught afterwards. These vulnerabilities are still incredibly dangerous though, to guests and to businesses and buildings with these kinds of sign-in systems.
Knowing about and understanding the risk is important to combating it, as it can help you alert security to shady characters, or help you keep an eye out for potential hackers in your own business. But we have more tips of ways to protect yourself, and your building, below. Some of it is using technology from the socially aware Dell, which you can check out for your small business here.
How to keep your business safe while using a sign-in system
It’s hard to do much as a visitor to a building to keep yourself safe from hackers, beyond trying to limit how much information you share with the sign-in system. As a business owner, though, and as a building owner, there are some steps you can take that can protect your sign-in system from being hacked.
One option is to abandon electronic sign-ins all together. Pen and paper sign in sheets are far from perfect, and can still be accessed by visitors, but they can’t be hacked, so any attempt to access their information would be more obvious.
If you want to stick with an electronic system, aim for one that has fewer vulnerabilities, like The Receptionist. And make sure you have the software on a safe and solid piece of tech. Dell offers great tablets and computers for businesses, with special deals and savings for small businesses that also come with great tech support. If you want to check out these deals, and see what technology is available, you can click right here.
The big thing you can do, as a visitor to a building, or as a business or building owner, though, is pressure these sign-in software companies to address their vulnerabilities. Now that the IBM study is out, these bugs need to be addressed, so if users and consumers complain on social media, and to the developers, it’s likely these bugs and vulnerabilities could be patched. Sharing this article could help with this pressuring as well.
Our goal here at Komando is not to make you fear technology and the online world, but to be smart while using it. You want to protect yourself, and your building or small business, from what dangers are out there. Reading this way is an important step in that direction, as knowledge of danger can make you more wary, and help you make smarter choices. It’s also good to make sure the technology you have can be relied on, and has great tech support behind it, like at Dell.
Dell has your back by protecting the tech you buy from it. Try following the above suggestions to protect yourself, and your business and/or buildings from the dangers of sign-in systems.
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