TITLE

Securing Wireless Networks

AUTHOR(S)
Ali Pabrai, Uday O.
PUB. DATE
October 2004
SOURCE
Certification Magazine;Oct2004, Vol. 6 Issue 10, p34
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses several aspects of wireless technologies and standards and the need to create a security policy that addresses risks associated with a wireless infrastructure. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has defined standards for wireless networks, such as 802.1x, 802.11d and 802.11g. IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networks (LANs) include the following components: Wireless network interface card; client system which can be a laptop, personal digital assistant or a desktop system; communications medium; access point which provides several channels to connect client systems to the wired LAN. The IEEE 802.11 standard defines two specific operating modes: ad-hoc and infrastructure. Lack of user authentication, weak encryption and poor network address management are some security challenges of wireless networks. Several standards and protocols have been defined to better secure wireless networks, including: Wired Equivalent Privacy, IEEE 802.1x User Authentication, Extensible Authentication Protocol, Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol, and Wireless Fidelity Protected Access. Security practitioners should first develop a policy for securing wireless devices and transmissions. The scope of this policy covers all wireless data communication devices connected to any of the organization's networks. This includes any device capable of transmitting packet data. The policy should include recommendations such as: Wireless implementations must maintain point-to-point hardware encryption of at least 128 bits; wireless devices must maintain a hardware address that can be registered and tracked; and screen savers must be activated after two or three minutes of idle time.
ACCESSION #
14682760

 

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