Many businesses and buildings protect themselves with sign-in systems. These systems require individuals to provide personal information to enter, but IBM recently discovered this data is actually very accessible to strangers entering these buildings — as are the buildings themselves.
We’re here to warn you about these systems and explain how to keep your own businesses and buildings safe. Find out how Dell technology can help your small business here.
Below, you’ll learn exactly what’s wrong with these sign-in systems that makes them so vulnerable. For those with businesses or buildings of their own, we also have a few helpful ways to make these sign-in systems safer.
How security check-in systems are vulnerable to data theft and letting strangers in
According to an IBM study, researchers found 19 vulnerabilities in five widely used sign-in systems, allowing data from each system to be accessed by outsiders. This level of accessibility is highly disturbing, particularly in urban areas where these systems are more common.
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, thus different levels of security and ways of accessing information.
Lobby Track Desktop had the most, with seven vulnerabilities, and The Receptionist had the least, with only one.
These system weaknesses allow people to access sign-in systems via the networks they run on, and let hackers download visitor logs. These logs often contain names, phone numbers and can also have data from driver’s licenses, such as addresses and ID numbers.
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 identity theft. All they need to do is be present in a building with an electronic sign-in system and they can hack their way in.
The vulnerabilities get worse than this, though. Once hackers are in the sign-in system, they can access business information and can leak data online.
In the study, businesses that kept the default administrator credentials on the check-in system were easily accessed, allowing people to edit the visitor log (meaning anyone could erase that they were there, or say 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 threatens further potential data leaks and exposure. All these risks because sign-in systems have very serious vulnerabilities.
There’s one good part to all of this — these vulnerabilities can only be exploited in person. A hacker would have to be physically in a building to access the data from a sign-in system, and that makes it more difficult for them to carry out hacks without getting caught.
These vulnerabilities are still incredibly dangerous to guests, businesses and buildings, but knowing about and understanding the risk is important. If someone seems suspicious, alert security.
How to keep your business safe while using a sign-in system
If you’re visiting a building with a sign-in system, it’s hard to keep your data safe from hackers. All you can do is limit how much information you share. But for business and building owners, there are a few some steps you can take to protect your sign-in system, and your guests, from being hacked.
One option is to abandon electronic sign-ins altogether. Pen and paper sign-in sheets are far from perfect, and can still be accessed by visitors, but they can’t be hacked. Any attempt to access a physical sign-in sheet would be 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, with special deals and savings for small businesses that also come with great tech support. Click here to check out these deals.
The best thing anyone can do, whether you’re a visitor, business or building owner, is pressure sign-in software companies to address their vulnerabilities. Now that the IBM study is out, these bugs need to be addressed.
If users and consumers complain on social media and directly to the developers, it’s likely the bugs and vulnerabilities will be patched. Sharing this article could help with pressuring sign-in software companies as well.
Our goal here at Komando.com is not to make you fear technology and the online world, but to be smart while using it. We want you to protect yourself, your building and your small business from external threats.
It’s also good to ensure the tech you use is reliable and has great tech support behind it, like Dell. Try following the above suggestions to protect your data and get additional help from Dell. Find out how Dell technology helps your small business by clicking or tapping here.