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Wireless Network Security

Wireless Network Security


Wireless networks are very common, both for organizations and individuals. Many laptop computers have wireless cards pre-installed for the buyer. The ability to enter a network while mobile has great benefits. However, wireless networking has many security issues. Crackers have found wireless networks relatively easy to break into, and even use wireless technology to crack into non-wireless networks. Network administrators must be aware of these risks, and stay up-to-date on any new risks that arise. Also, users of wireless equipment must be aware of these risks, so as to take personal protective measures.

SECURITY RISKS

The risks to users of wireless technology have increased exponentially as the service has become more popular. There were relatively few dangers when wireless technology was first introduced. Crackers had not yet had time to latch on to the new technology and wireless was not commonly found in the work place. Currently, however; there are a great number of security risks associated with wireless technology. Some issues are obvious and some are not. At a corporate level, it is the responsibility of the IT department to keep up to date with the types of threats and appropriate counter measures to deploy. Security threats are growing in the wireless arena. Crackers have learned that there is much vulnerability in the current wireless protocols, encryption methods, and in the carelessness and ignorance that exists at the user and corporate IT level. Cracking methods have become much more sophisticated and innovative with wireless. Cracking has become much easier and more accessible with easy-to-use Windows-based and Linux-based tools being made available on the web at no charge. IT personnel should be somewhat familiar with what these tools can do and how to counteract the cracking that stems from them.

WIRELESS BEING USED FOR HACKING INTO NON-WIRELESS NETWORKS

Some organizations that have no wireless access points installed do not feel that they need to address wireless security concerns. This is a common deceptive inference. In-Stat MDR and META Group have estimated that 95% of all corporate laptop computers that will be purchased in 2005 will be equipped with wireless. Issues can arise in a supposedly non-wireless organization when a wireless laptop is plugged into the corporate network. A cracker could sit out in the parking lot and break in through the wireless card on a laptop and gain access to the wired network. This problem is aggravated by what is referred tnts. This can be a major security risk. If no security measures are implemented at these access points, it is no different from providing a patch cable out the back door for crackers to plug into whenever they wish.

TYPES OF UNATHORIZED ACCESS TO COMPANY NETWORKS

ACCIDENTAL ASSOCIATION

Unauthorized access to company wireless and wired networks can come from a number of different methods and intents. One of these methods is referred to as