Security scans of the WeWork building in New York's Financial District exposed security vulnerabilities within the company's WiFi network.
CNET reported that a tenant named Teemu Airamo who began working at the shared workspace in 2015 scanned the facility early on to ensure his company would not be vulnerable to an attack. After all, the tenant would soon be sharing an office with over 200 companies who could potentially snoop around. Airamo was shocked to find out that the WeWork network was leaking huge amounts of data.
Upon discovery, Airamo disclosed the issue to WeWork management, who subsequently shrugged off the issue after he asked if they had actually seen what was happening on their network.
Now, four years have gone by and nothing has been done about it. The tenant has continued to conduct regular scans of the network and has found that there are 658 exposed devices leaking information from the WeWork network. His regular scans show things like financial records, business transactions, client databases, and emails from organizations around his office.
The increased popularity of shared workspaces certainly comes with its advantages, but also some disadvantages, including sharing your Wi-Fi network with others. Public Wi-Fi has long been a security concern, which is why users are advised to avoid using open networks available at hotels, cafes, and airports. But when it comes to operating business as usual for companies in open workspaces, hundreds of businesses must rely on the building's internet access.
Speed of the internet is certainly a top priority for open workspace members, but security should be just as important. With WeWorks customer base of over 527,000 members, it's imperative the company adopt security best practices like securing the network and isolate member devices from intercommunicating on the local network. WeWork could also set up firewalls to block W-Fi scanning activities and spot rogue traffic and disconnect new access points.