Protecting Visitor Data Privacy
Protecting Visitor Data Privacy
An important part of visitor management is taking care of the visitors’ needs. Visitors must feel protected as they do business in a remote location whether they are using a hardwired or wireless device. For this reason, an important part of an effective visitor management system is data protection. At Veristream, we understand your needs and provide solutions locally and around the globe.
The safest environment for data transmission is to use a network connection within the protection of the company firewall. Once an employee leaves that protection in order to do business at a remote site, he or she becomes more vulnerable to data hijacking. Some of the most dangerous environments are unencrypted networks. They are sensitive to such attacks as:
- Wiretapping – intercepting transmissions
- Man-in-the-middle – a transparent third-party participant with the ability to alter transmissions
Hacking Is Simple
Many people are amazed when they realize how easy it is to hack into an internet transmission. The protocol used to send internet transmissions is Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP. For this reason, all internet addresses have the form http://www.veristream.com/. HTTP is human readable. To see an example, internet users can visit a website and then choose “View Source” in their browser. Text that appears on a webpage will appear unaltered in the source.
For many people, this is a fun exercise to see into the workings of internet transmissions. On the other hand, they soon realize that if they can see internet transmissions so easily, so can anyone else.
Encryption Provides Security
In order to make internet transmissions more secure, the computer industry developed a modified protocol named Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS. HTTPS adds encryption to the transmission stream. With the encryption, the data is no longer human-readable. In fact, without the decryption key, it is not decipherable at all, even with the world’s most powerful computers.
The protection sequence begins before any data is transmitted. The data source and recipient start by exchanging security certificates and verifying identities. If a browser indicates an improper security certificate, visitors are instructed to end the session immediately.
Once identities are verified, internet visitors can have a reasonable degree of confidence that they are contacting the intended website. At that point, the visitor and the website exchange decryption keys and begin to transmit secure data.
HTTPS in Action
Computer users who make online purchases are familiar with the standard checkout process, which routes them to a secure site to allow them to safely enter sensitive credit card information. The address (URL) of the secure site will start with the letters “https” instead of the standard “http” prefix. It will also be displayed with a lock icon.
Secure Transmission Protects Both Visitors and Hosts
Secure transmissions protect the host company as well as the visitors. If visitor data is compromised while a customer is visiting a business, the reputation of the business itself is affected and the visitor will not have as much confidence in dealing with that company. For this reason, the best visitor management systems employ secure encrypted transmissions.