Describe Wireless Security Techniques

Traffic flows through radio waves in wireless networks, so it is easy for attackers to monitor and attack data without having to connect to a network physically. Attackers gain access to a network by being within range of an unprotected wireless network. A technician needs to know how to configure access points and wireless network interface cards (WNIC) to an appropriate level of security.

When installing wireless services, you should apply the following wireless security techniques immediately to prevent unwanted access to the network:

■ Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) was the first-generation security standard for wireless. Attackers quickly discovered that 64-bit WEP encryption was easy to break. Monitoring programs could detect the encryption keys used to encode the messages. After the keys were obtained, messages could be easily decoded. In an attempt to overcome this weakness, most users employ a 128-bit key for WEP.

■ Change the default administration password.

■ Disable the broadcasting of the Service Set Identifier (SSID) to hide it from other users.

■ Use MAC filtering to protect the network from other users.

■ Change the default values of the SSID by entering the setup program for the access point and renaming the SSID.

■ Update to the latest available firmware.

■ Install or activate a firewall, and adjust the settings to eliminate all traffic except the desired network settings.

■ Update to the latest available firmware.

■ Install or activate a firewall, and adjust the settings to eliminate all traffic except the desired network settings.

An attacker can access data as it travels over the radio signal. However, you can use a wireless encryption system to encode data and thereby prevent unwanted capture and use of the data. Both ends of every link must use the same encryption standard. The following list describes the different levels of wireless security, from most secure to least secure:

■ Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP): Also called EAP-Cisco, LEAP is a wireless security protocol created by Cisco to address the weaknesses in WEP and WPA. LEAP is a good choice when using Cisco equipment in conjunction with operating systems such as Windows and Linux.

■ Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA): An improved version of WEP. It was created as a temporary solution until 802.11i (a security layer for wireless systems) was fully implemented. Now that 802.11i has been ratified, WPA2 has been released. It covers the entire 802.11i standard.

■ WEP 128: An enhanced encryption protocol combining a 104-bit key and a 24-bit initialization vector.

■ WEP 64: The first-generation security standard for wireless. It could be exploited because of an encryption key that was vulnerable to decoding.

■ No security: Although you can elect to implement no security whatsoever, you leave your wireless network completely vulnerable to attack.

In addition, Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) is a security layer used in mobile devices that employ the Wireless Applications Protocol (WAP). Mobile devices do not have a great deal of spare bandwidth to devote to security protocols. WTLS was designed to provide security for WAP devices in a bandwidth-efficient manner.

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  • marcus
    What is the technique of wirless networking security?
    6 months ago

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