Never Cross the Streams, It Would Be Bad

Just as with proton streams when battling apparitions, banshees, phantoms or poltergeists, you don’t ever want to cross your store’s wifi with your public wifi.

What’s the issue?  We have a perfectly good Internet connection that we use for our business computers, cash registers and automation systems, why not open it up to the public so that we can attract more business to our store?  Really, you’re just trying to enrich the cable companies by making us buy another Internet connection for our customers.  And the national outfit that wants the contract to install public wifi at our mall says that they can firewall the public wifi from our business cash registers without a problem.  Cross their collective hearts and hope to die, they do this all the time and they never have a problem.

The first issue is that the sales lady from that national outfit would probably throw her own mother under the bus to get you to sign the contract.  The second issue is that firewalls are software with vulnerabilities that can be hacked – firewalls are better than nothing, but it’s not something that Stirling uses to protect our corporate network from a public wifi on a shared Internet connection.

By crossing your business Internet with public wifi, the only thing you’re really accomplishing is providing a road map for someone to sit in the parking lot and hack your business.  In this bold new world of interconnectivity that we live in, it’s simply safer and easier to calculate the cost of a dedicated Internet connection for your public wifi upfront before providing public wifi in your business, store or mall.

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