The Potential of LiFi to Optimize Coworking Spaces
As the economy bounces back, a new breed of coworking spaces pops up. Coworking hubs pivot to provide COVID-proof spaces to digital nomads and those companies that gave up their offices during the height of the pandemic but wish to have a hybrid setup today. Even traveling professionals can benefit from these hubs. But why aren’t more digital workers and companies embracing this new breed of coworking spaces? One big issue is data security.
The Issue: Data Security
Data security is a serious concern. The cost of a data breach can be enough to shut down a growing firm and ruin its brand reputation. So if a company’s cybersecurity is challenging to maintain in an in-house IT network, what more can it be in a shared public network?
While some companies ask their remote workers to use VLAN & VPN connections, they can’t still find an airtight solution to ensure data security. After all, even if they have strict rules about using VPNs in public networks like coworking spaces or hotel lobbies, they can’t stop a worker from downloading an essential & time-sensitive file through a shared network.
So, for some companies, having their people work in coworking hubs is a recipe for disaster in terms of data security. They feel they don’t have control over the shared network. Add that to the mix of data security risks rooted in human errors or negligence, and you’ll understand why many firms remain hesitant to embrace the new breed of coworking spaces.
Luckily, there’s a potential solution. It lies in a revolutionary wireless technology called LiFi.
The Solution: LiFi in Coworking Spaces
LiFi or Light Fidelity has been gradually presenting itself as a solution to the looming spectrum crunch—a scenario where WiFi and other wireless connections can no longer meet the growing demand for data. It’s already being used in schools and homes. Some LiFi products are now available for the end users, while others are still in exciting developments.
This revolutionary wireless technology also has the potential to address data security issues in coworking spaces. LiFi is comparable to WiFi (it can even be 100 times faster!), but the key difference is that LiFi uses infrared light to carry and receive data instead of radio waves.
Radio waves can be intercepted by people outside the network. On the other hand, light cannot pass through walls. That makes LiFi connections more secure than WiFi networks. Some rooms can even be designed as isolated, high-security areas with their own LiFi networks. That sounds doable for the COVID-proof or walled spaces in coworking hubs.
Also, coworking spaces can easily add LiFi to their existing infrastructure. They already have light fixtures, so all they need is an access point that can quickly be attached to the ceiling. With an access point, users can connect to LiFi through a LiFi dongle or USB access key.
The LiFi dongle is often seen as a downside since it’s an extra hardware piece in a LiFi network, but in this case, it can be considered a big plus. This plug-and-play USB access key presents a physical barrier that limits LiFi connections only to permitted users. It makes a LiFi network, with its already impenetrable light waves, more secure against cyber threats.
The Potential Solution Can Be a Reality
If the new breed of coworking spaces starts adopting secure internet alternatives like LiFi, their approach to shared networks and answer to data security issues can be revolutionary. Who knows, more and more companies might embrace the use of coworking hubs. And in time, as the world eases into a post-pandemic era, having employees work in coworking spaces—without any reservations or security concerns—might also become the new normal.