(Mis) Understanding Wireless LAN Security

Kindervag, John
October 2007
Business Communications Review;Oct2007, Vol. 37 Issue 10, p50
Trade Publication
The article discusses the importance of security measures in protecting wireless local area networks (WLAN). Most security problems involving WLANs are Layer 2 problems, which concern data links, rather than Layer 3 problems, which concern networks. Most information security professionals come from networking backgrounds, and tend to see WLANs as an extension of Ethernet. The differences between WLANs and Ethernet fundamentally affect wireless security. When developing IEEE 802.11 protocols, researchers chose not to use wired Ethernet (802.3) control protocol. The article identifies and debunks several myths regarding WLAN security including turning off the service set identification to prevent hackers from finding access points and restricting access to wireless networks by turning on MAC Address Filtering. INSET: What Can Be Done To Secure Wireless LANs?.


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