Home Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             20 January, 2021

Category:  Articles » Communications » Broadband Internet


Steps to a Secure Wireless Network

         Views: 1493
2007-09-13 15:14:17     
Article by Dean Grimshawe

Wireless LAN (Local Area Networks) is taking the workplace by storm and providing enterprise with increased flexibility, mobility and increased access for the workforce. Many companies employ representatives to work either from home or on the road and are finding constant connection with the main office is a necessity. To cater for this desktop computers are being replaced by laptops and the increased mobility is providing a huge advantage. This process is happening now and the technology has seen a rapid growth in line with the market boom that fueled it. So now the question is not do we need wireless capabilities? The question is how can we get the most from this investment while ensuring the company network is secure and not at risk?

The downside to increased technology and new design is that it provides another potential route of access for the hackers to get into your files. Having your network being accessed in the air creates cold sweats for some bosses and is the main reason wireless didn't take off at this pace years ago. However, wireless is a safe entity now and many large corporate infrastructures are enjoying the freedom of WLAN without so much as a hint of intrusion from unwanted attention. These companies are able to provide guest access to contractors/ visitors on site without compromising any confidential information, create 'hot desking' scenarios for satellite staff so they can save on office space while the rest of the staff on the road are in full contact with the office despite being the other side of the country. Most coffee shops now provide wi-fi access so even when in an unknown area reps can stay in contact and check emails regularly and even send / receive reports at an efficient rate throughout the day. So what potential threats still exist? Unfortunately laptops searching for an internet signal can be very vulnerable to attack as they are opening themselves to an input signal. This has led hackers within a public area to access other laptops and explore the contents of the victims' files. It doesn't bear thinking about what kind of information could be at risk here, from personal to corporate material of a potentially highly sensitive nature. This is known as 'peer to peer' hacking, though in reality the offender never actually hacked into anything. The innocent laptop merely roamed the air looking for internet access and offered itself to the malicious intruder. The hacker merely took advantage of this situation while the worker was totally unaware. Another scenario may be if a satellite worker visits the office and takes to a desk. Instead of scanning the office for a wireless signal he decides to take a lead and plug his laptop into the network manually. This seems simple enough. However, while he is working away his laptop is actually still searching the airspace for a wireless network to connect to, providing a backdoor entrance to the corporate LAN. It would only take someone in the car park to connect with this end user point 'peer to peer' and they will have direct access to the buildings infrastructure without any requirement to authenticate. As you can see this spells a potential for attack, and has resulted in expensive hacks in the past.

The good news is this is all very well understood and attacks like these can be prevented. The level of security required varies from industry sector to industry sector; however the most secure areas of the land are now confident to open themselves up for wireless capabilities. Logistics companies rely on wireless for mission critical operations that would not be possible otherwise. Retail companies can make more transactions and access vital information quicker with WLAN increasing their revenue while ensuring customer payment details are retained under the strictest confidentiality. Coffee shops are experiencing increased revenue through providing wireless for commuting/ satellite workers. Education can increase access to learning resources while shielding themselves from some of the most ingenious hackers ever, students. Even banks and the finance sector are able to increase their efficiency and productivity with wireless and can be confident in the protection of their network through leading technology.

So how do you get to experience the benefits of WLAN without losing sleep about being compromised as a result?

1. Passwords - Usually your 'out of the box' solution will come with administrator passwords/ usernames so you can log on and use your new toy. As soon as you get the chance change them to something different. Naturally, attempt to make the password as unpredictable as possible by including random capitals and numbers as well as plain text.

2. Encryption - Once you have changed your passwords/ usernames look at upgrading your encryption. The old WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) standard can be hacked in 30 seconds compromising whatever data is withheld on the network. There are much better versions out there so be aware that without researching into the options the version you are initially given may not be up to scratch.

3. Authentication - Decide how your employees are going to verify themselves when they are looking to gain access. How easy is this system to crack? For satellite staff, consider implementing IPSec/ SSL VPN gateways and for highly sensitive networks perhaps 'two factor authentication' may be required. It is best to keep authentication methods uniform across the company.

4. Rogue Detection - For an extra premium there are facilities available that will constantly scan and police your network for rogue AP's (Access Points). This will alert you as soon as there is any untoward activity within your air space. Even better, the technology is available for a system that will automatically cut any connections with a rogue AP without the need for the Network Manager to have to authorise it.

5. Assessment - Once you have your security policy in place this should be regularly assessed to ensure it is meeting the standards that you set out to achieve.

This is a very brief overview of how to secure a corporate WLAN, and most of the points are worthy of a full article themselves. The main point of this was to highlight that there certainly are ways of obtaining the secure wireless network that can take your company to the next level, ensuring the money you shell out acts as an investment and not a glorified expense.

'Secure in the Knowledge'

Dean Grimshawe is Head of Marketing for Network Security Specialists 'Toranet Ltd'. Working closely in partnership with businesses Toranet are able to provide a healthy balance between access and network security. This ensures optimum efficiency, and the greatest return of investment for the client. For further information visit http://www.toranet.net

Specialized in: Secure Wireless Network
URL: http://www.toranet.net
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
Dial Up Access Numbers (Popularity: ): Dial-up is a way of accessing the Internet with the help of a telephone line and a modem. The telephone line is connected to the modem, which in turn dials the number of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to access the Internet. Most ISPs have a set of local or national numbers that users can dial to get connected to the Internet. These are known as the dial up access ...
How Can I Find Out Who Owns an Email Address? (Popularity: ): Threats and fear are the underlying factor why people conduct research to find out who owns an email address although the damages caused by this technological invention might not be publicized but we know that a lot of people are being scammed day in day out and so as not to be taken for a fool keep they their suffering innocence to themselves.Don't find yourself in this situation before you ...
Internet Safety For Kids - 4 Important Tips For Parents (Popularity: ): All around the globe, the Internet and computers have become indispensable. We communicate with friends, search for information, shop online, use online banking to pay our bills and many other things that make our lives easier. However, there are also certain dangers that come with Internet usage. Aside from viruses, the Internet could also pose threats to our children if they are allowed to use it without proper monitoring and ...
Broadband Media Allows Face to Face With Deployed Loved Ones (Popularity: ): Connecting with loved ones during the holidays is one joy that many Americans look forward to. Sometimes finances and schedules can be so tight that a holiday visit just isn't fated to happen on a given year, and sometimes, it helps to think outside the box, trying new ways to gain that precious holiday connectivity. This is where new innovations in broadband media technology and broadcasting can help fill in ...
Ordering An ADSL Line (Popularity: ): If you are in a situation where you think that you need to get a professionally fast and stable internet connection, then ADSL might be exactly what you are looking for.You'll find that having an internet connection that is both fast and efficient is something that you can turn to a great advantage when you are working and whether you are a large business or a small one, this is ...

Related Business 
Secure Wireless Network Connection System (Popularity: ): Get useful information about choosing a secure wireless network and wireless network finder. Also check out how to configure wireless network by simple ways explained here how to set up wireless network, wireless network security, wireless network adapter.
Secure Wireless Network Solutions (Popularity: ): PW Wireless Networks design, install and support wireless networks and applications for your organisation. Whether you’re a small office or large health trust, we can install a wireless network or upgrade your existing WiFi to extend the signal or increase the connectivity. We can also supply a host of wireless applications such as Asset Tracking, RF Firewalls and Wireless Bridges to connect buildings.
Wireless Network Tutorial for homes (Popularity: ): Learn how to quickly create a home wireless network.
AvaLAN Wireless Systems, Inc. (Popularity: ): Wireless Networking Products Manufacturer & Supplier - Buy online wireless products like wireless ethernet bridge, industrial ethernet products, wireless network camera, point-to-point wireless ethernet bridge, 900 mhz ethernet bridge, wireless antennas etc.
LAN Network (Popularity: ): LAN network - If you want fast and secure connectivity on your Local Area Network, supnetsystems.com can insure the fastest, most efficient, and cleanest LAN cabling. Superior Network Systems offers a diverse range of secure network and systems services, ensuring that the potential of your IT infrastructure is maximized. SNS has over 12 years experience and uses only highly qualified and certified technicians. We offer custom plans designed specifically to ...
System Fix (Popularity: ): Make your computer and network faster. Remove viruses and spyware. Configure a network to share files and printers Recover lost or deleted data. Set up new equipment, including tablets and smart phones Secure your computer and network Computer Repairs Laptop Repairs PC Repairs MAC Repairs Home & Office Services Computer Networking Wireless Networking.
Certicom (Popularity: ): Secure data storage, network access and e-mail software for wireless handhelds. Securitybuilder developer toolkits for embedding cryptographic functions in new applications and hardware.
cStar Technologies Inc. (Popularity: ): Specializes in wireless data communications. Products include wireless data communication, wireless network access, telemetry, and multi-protocol gateways.
AirMagnet Company Site (Popularity: ): AirMagnet provides mission-critical wireless LAN (WLAN) administration and diagnostic tools to help network and security professionals deploy, administer and secure their networks
Wireless LAN Monitoring & Intrusion Protection Software (Popularity: ): WiMetrics' solutions provide a real-time view of all 802.11 wireless device activity on the wireless LAN. Locate rogue wireless access points without using a wireless sniffer device. Authorize 802.11 devices for trusted network access and automatically block intruders from gaining access to the wired LAN.