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What security issues will impede an organization from implementing a wireless LANs environment?

What security issues will impede an organization from implementing a wireless LANs environment?
Common WLAN security risks include:

  • Unauthorized Network Access - organizations need to enable access by authenticated users to authorized resources while keeping outsiders away.

  • Eavesdropping on Data In Transit - organizations need to ensure the confidentiality of sensitive or confidential data went over the air.

  • Message Forgery - organizations need to know that data has not been changed or sent by an intruder masquerading as a legitimate user.

  • Network Downtime - organizations need to take steps to ensure full-time availability their wireless LAN and attached systems and servers.
  • For example, many companies are now finding "rogue" wireless LANs inside their facility. APs installed by overly-enthusiastic employees still pose risk because they are usually unsecured, allowing access to the company network by anyone within a few hundred feet. More malicious APs can trick wireless stations into connecting to them instead of the company AP, intercepting and perhaps changing data mid-stream. Malicious users can also try to cripple your company's wireless LAN by flooding APs with bogus messages that eat up resources and deny access by legitimate users. Fortunately, security measures are now available to address most of these risks. To learn more, I recommend listening to these SearchSecurity.com webcasts:

  • Locking down your WLAN: Part 1 - Identifying the threats
  • Locking down your WLAN: Part 2 - Implementing Countermeasures

This was last published in December 2003

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