WirelessLocal Area Network is a very vital type of wireless network innetworking industry (Schäfer, 2004). But the question is, with allthe well familiar protocol susceptibilities as well asproliferatingmenaces, should one stand firm and adopt a WLAN?Alternatively, should one try to do away with wireless, in spite ofits commercial benefits and the intimidating notion that scoundreladmission opinions will crop up nonetheless? Are todays WLANs secure?This paper substantiates the fact that WLANs are secure.
Itis no longer a matter of choice since modern enhancements in wirelessprocedures as well as substructure expertise make WLAN security apragmatic objective, not a mediocre oxymoron. WLANs can be madesecure if one is keen about the way he or she mix wireless withhis/her wired inventiveness, influence the current tools of securityand choose the correct security technology (FitzGerald & Dennis,2009). One has to monitor the network to make it safe and securesince there are many perils that awaits unprotected WLANs. There canbe intruders stealing network bandwidth, transmission of spam, oryour network can be used as a catalyst to attack other people.
Beforeyou plot out access point deployment, conduct a site survey using aWLAN discovery tool such as NetStumbler. What you learn mightsurprise you. According to a recent Gartner report, at least one infive companies find APs deployed without IT department permission.Commodity pricing, retail distribution and setup wizards have made ittrivial for employees to install rogue APs, which can exposecorporate assets to outsiders and interfere with WLAN performance.Find and eliminate rogue APs from the start–or safely incorporatethem into your wireless network design.
Sitesurveys also turn up unauthorized workstations. Create an inventoryof laptops and PDAs with wireless adapters, documenting user, MACaddress and operating system. This will be used to implement WLANaccess controls. And you`ll find an up-to-date list is essential whenWLAN adapters are lost or stolen (Schäfer,2004).
Asurvey conducted by Forrester Research indicated that 63 percent ofcorporations in the United States use WLAN to offer access toenterprise networks and applications. WLANs are also become popularamong European companies. The use of WLAN has been linked with itsenhanced flexibility and productivity in mobile working.Nevertheless, when using wireless networks, packets data arenecessitated in order to navigate through the air (Woodhams,Marg & Smith, 2010).This poses a major interception threat. These breaches results in thestealing of sensitive company information. Besides, the safety of theenterprise network is questioned by the concerned stakeholders who inturn lose trust and bring forth unnecessary and detrimentalattention.
WLANsare prone to various security threats including the employment ofunauthorized devices, masquerading, and rejection of service attacks(Pal,2013). WLANsecurity violations are influenced by various factors. To start with,end-users do not have the required awareness to prevent suchbreaches. Although most companies install the most costly and newestsecurity systems, they fail to inform their end-users regarding thesame. A study by Gartner Research showed that 90 percent of WLANsecurity occurrences were caused by misconfigured systems (Pal,2013). Accordingto John Girard, the vice-president of Gartner, best practices forgeneral security are the ones which mitigate the probablesusceptibility of WLAN fundamental features (Woodhams,Marg & Smith, 2010). The practices encompass access points, overall planning as well asclient systems.
FitzGerald,J. & Dennis, A. (2009). Businessdata communications and networking(10th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Pal,A. (2013). Datacommunication and computer networks.PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
Schäfer,G. (2004). Securityin fixed and wireless networks: An introduction to securing datacommunications.New York: Wiley.
Woodhams,J., Marg, R. & Smith, J (2010). Cisco Unified Wireless LANsecurity fundamentals. CiscoPress.Retrieved fromhttp://www.ciscopress.com/articles/article.asp?p=1649255