Worker beware – cafes and shared workspaces at risk

Have you ever worked from a café or a collaborative space and connected your laptop to the free Wi-Fi available in the area? If you answered “Yes” (like most of us) then continue reading, because this article is a must-read for you.

If you deal with customers’ personal information, then this applies to you…

The Australian Government has amended the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) with the “Notifiable Data Breaches” to strengthen the protection of privacy and personal information and to improve organisational transparency regarding data breaches. The change took effect on the 22nd of February 2018.

Penalties up to $1.8 million for organisations

As a consumer of shared workspaces, data breach risks are heightened if not managed correctly by facility providers. For any business that needs to abide by the Privacy Act and Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme has to be wary of their shared workspace provider’s approach to security. It is crucial for business owners to ensure that they protect both their own and their clients’ data. Penalties that can arise include fines of up to $360,000 for individuals and up to $1.8 million for organisations.

Don’t buy a lie…

There are many workspaces that provide “secure internet” but simply stating that you provide a secure internet connection is no longer sufficient as it does not detail the level of security and what you are actually secured from. Don’t buy a lie. Consider asking your workspace provider these questions:

  • Is the wireless connection securely segmented, so that other tenants are not on the same network? Is it secured and encrypted?
  • Do you receive your own dedicated wireless login credentials?
  • Is the Wi-Fi password or key the same for every tenant? If it is the same, how do they control access to the network given that previous tenants and guests could reuse the password and gain access to the network?
  • Do they know who is on the network at any given time?
  • Are there sufficient personnel to monitor and control access to the facility?
  • Do you conduct identity checks to ensure you maintain records of tenants within the facility?Would access and/or theft of my personal devices be a means to exploit sensitive business data?


Experience Coworking as it should be – Coworking with peace of mind. Try it for yourself.

Servcorp has invested millions in a secure IT infrastructure prior to the law introduction to have its clients covered. Each client receives their own separate, isolated, and secure network to operate in with a high-end Cisco infrastructure configured for maximum security. Servcorp has 24/7 monitoring on all equipment, security cameras at every location, and an own in-house IT team to ensure the highest security level.