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Wireless network security best practices

Don't let your wireless LAN (WLAN) jeopardize your corporate networks, servers and data. In this guide, you'll discover how to mitigate the risks WLAN pose and learn how to perform vulnerability assessments to manage potential risks.

For most companies, the No. 1 wireless concern is security -- not only keeping traffic safe but preventing any wireless LAN (WLAN) from jeopardizing corporate networks, servers and data. This guide from will help you become familiar with the inherent risks and threats that can be used to attack WLANs and how adopting a systematic approach of vulnerability assessment can help your company manage those risks.

Technical Tips

Wireless attacks, A to Z
In our buzzword-filled industry, wrapping your arms around wireless attacks and their potential business impacts can be tough. This tip tries to bring order to this chaos by providing a reference list of attacks against 802.11 and 802.1X, categorized by type of threat, and mapped to associated hacker methods and tools.

Know your wireless encryption options
Understanding wireless encryption is essential to deploying a secure wireless network. Contributor Tony Bradley breaks down the different encryption methods and explains why some are better than others.

Secure WLANs - Understanding the protocols
This tip reviews the 802.11 architecture and the PHY standards for 802.11a, b, and g and performance expectations.

Step-by-Step Guide: Wireless network security testing
The abundance of wireless devices is making wireless networks -- both authorized and unauthorized -- more common. Attack your own wireless networks to find vulnerabilities before malicious hackers do. Security testing expert Kevin Beaver covers the tools and techniques you'll need to find and exploit insecure wireless networks.

Wi-Fi firewalls boost wireless security by blocking airborne attacks
Wi-Fi firewalls, or wireless intrusion prevention systems, are servers that monitor and filter Wi-Fi traffic, blocking unauthorized 802.11 usage and attacks while still in the air. Learn about the benefits of the Wi-Fi firewalls and what to consider when selecting one.

Five steps to stamp out unsafe Wi-Fi use
Lisa Phifer helps dispel the top myths of wireless security and explains five steps that network administrators can take to lead their users toward safer Wi-Fi usage.

Testing hotspot security
Doing business on the road? The risks of using public-access networks, wired and wireless, at a hotel or similar venue, are significantly greater than those experienced in an enterprise setting. Lisa Phifer and Craig Mathias test how well different public networks provision security, explore the various security threats business travelers face and offer precautions to take for your network.

Secure your network against illegal users
Learn how to secure your network against illegal users with this Q&A from wireless expert, Lisa Phifer.

Downloadable Book Excerpts

Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies
This chapter from the book Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies by Kevin Beaver and Peter Davis covers installing and using network discovery and wardriving tools Kismet and Wellenreiter and discusses wardriving countermeasures.

Wireless network security -- Chapter 8 of Essential Computer Security
Starting with a brief overview of the wireless protocols and technology, this examines the security precautions you should take to securely use a public wireless network. Topics in this chapter include the basics of wireless networks, wireless network security measures and additional hotspot security measures.

Visit often to keep abreast of recent developments in enterprise wireless security.

This was last published in January 2007

Dig Deeper on Wireless LAN (WLAN)