Wireless Network Security

Your agency's network is essential for your day to day operations. A fast efficient network means more productivity, smoother operations and less down time.

Wireless networks have become more prevalent in today's homes and businesses. Their low maintenance and ease of use have made them an attractive networking option.

However, there are several problems that have made themselves apparent in the recent years that are a cause for concern. One of the most prominent problems lay within the WEP security protocol. The WEP protocol is the most commonly used form of security on wireless routers, since wireless enabled computers have this form of security installed by default.

WEP, like any lock, uses a key, or password. The wireless key itself can be either a 40/64 or a 104/128 bit key. The WEP utilizes a streaming RC4 encryption for data security. However this security protocol has become very fragile and to a determined intruder, offers almost no resistance. In internal trials conducted by Panther Data Tech LLC, a WEP 128(104) network with a invisible SSID was able to be broken into in approximately 10 minutes depending on internal network traffic. Once an intruder has this information, collected data packets, it can be analyzed at a separate location for emails, correspondence, or even corporate secrets.

Solutions

There are a few things to make a wireless network more secure. Careful configuration, stronger security settings and protocols of the wireless network can keep lower level wireless intruders out. As a general rule, company computers should be wired and separate from the wireless network. This provides security in the fact that in the event there is an intrusion within the wireless network, mission-essential computers cannot be harmed. Panther Data Tech LLC can implement these solutions to protect you and your business.

Wireless Protocols

The most common wireless standards are:

  • IEEE 802.11g
    (Wi-Fi) Up to 54Mbps in the 2.4GHz band
  • IEEE 802.11n-2009

    An amendment to the IEEE 802.11-2007 wireless networking standard to improve network throughput over the two previous standards - 802.11a and 802.11g - with a significant increase in the maximum raw data rate from 54 Mbit/s to 600 Mbit/s with the use of four spatial streams at a channel width of 40 MHz.

For more in-depth information, see Webopedia's Table.


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