A few months ago, Scott Schober was speaking at a cybersecurity roundtable in New York City. When he asked the audience if anyone in attendance had been breached or hacked, every single person in the room — people from the cybersecurity industry — raised a hand.
Including Schober, the CEO and president of Metuchen-based Berkeley Varitronics Systems
And a cybersecurity expert.
That says it all when it comes to why his company — which has spent four decades designing and manufacturing hardware for the telecommunications industry — has placed a growing focus on helping clients prevent cyberattacks.
Schober has seen increased demand for those services in the last five years, in both consulting and its products. And with the company’s background in wireless hardware and its 35 employees, it’s been able to make the transition to specialize in wireless security.
“A lot of it complements our understanding. More specifically, the engineers have expertise in radio frequency and the wireless component,” he said. “It’s a natural fit when you talk about cybersecurity and the wireless threat.”
What have they found through their expertise? Unsecure wireless networks are a major source for this vulnerability. It’s an answer so simple it’s often overlooked. Many businesses don’t even seem to take the time and understand it.
“We first ask, ‘Do you have a wireless setup via Wi-Fi?’ The answer everybody typically says is ‘yes,’” Schober said. “Then, ‘Do you have security in place or encryption?’ Most people say ‘What are you talking about?’”
The most important aspect of wireless security, Schober said, is the password.
“Hackers are lazy and they’re always looking for that low-hung fruit so they can move in and exploit that. They’re looking for open networks or passwords they can hack easily,” he said.
A wireless network can be hacked from the parking lot, assuming the password is weak, by using software to scan a company’s website and social media.