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Is your Wireless Network Secure

Networking professionals are encouraging people to think
twice about wireless network security. You might be
thinking I use WEP-128 bit encryption with MAC address
filtering, I’m safe. Or you may be you’ve never even heard
of WEP, if this is the case you might want to unplug your
wireless access point immediately. But then again look at
the bright side at least you don’t have the false sense of
security that your network is secure. Perhaps you are the
smart guy who knows how insecure wireless networks are. You
too are at just an equal risk!
Your computer consultant might be partially right when they
say WEP will protect your network. It will protect your
network from casual snooping but that is about it. Last
year the FBI was able to crack a WEP protected network in
less than 3 minutes with tools widely available on the
internet. Since then it’s been downhill for WEP.
At this point you might be thinking, “Oh well, someone gets
on my network and uses the internet”. This is completely
false. If someone has gone through the process of getting
on your network chances are the only thing they want is not
internet access. Any computer security professional will
tell you that physical access to the network is 95% of the
security battle. Once this has been accomplished you can
consider all of your data compromised. Customer invoices,
customer data, credit card numbers and passwords to
financial institutions will all be in the hands of a hacker.
One in many methods can be used to gain access to your
personal data, whether it’s through Key loggers, Trojans, or
just by sniffing your plaintext network traffic.
Maybe, just maybe, I have not convinced you of the
insecurities of wireless networks. Let me tell you about
another attack that hackers can use to gain access to your
network. Let’s say your access points are completely locked
down, to your knowledge. A user from your network goes and
flips on their laptop while sitting in an airport terminal
waiting for a plane. They see an available insecure
wireless network so they click on it and connect. None of us
have ever done this before right, itching to check their
email one last time before heading out of town? Unbeknownst
to them they have just clicked on a fake honeypot wireless
network, set up by a rogue hacker that before they can even
realize their machine is already being scanned. Picture for
a moment that user could be anywhere, even sitting at a desk
in your network. Just as long as the rogue access point is
stronger than your AP’s radio signal you’re security is
done.
May be you fall into the category of never setting up
wireless networks because you read about their insecurities.
How then can you be at risk? Just consider for a moment
that a user in your organization fires up his wireless card.
See’s a wireless network that is named XYZCorp after your
company. So they connect to it and immediately a script is
hammering their machine for security vulnerabilities. Once
again they connected to a rogue access point setup by a
hacker. Now you might be thinking. “C’mon you must have to
be a computer genius to find and run these tools.” Think
again, thanks to the kind people over at remote-exploit.org
all these tools can be downloaded in one big happy ISO file.
Burned to a CD as an image and bang you’re done, ready to
take a drive to the nearest business and start sniffing
credit card numbers. Everything wrapped into a nice package
just waiting for the next script kiddy to start running the
programs. You may be thinking ok this is a major problem so
what should I do? Give up my organizations ability to use
wireless networks? This isn’t exactly what we are saying.
A newer wireless security technology has taken over in 2004
called WPA. It is more secure than WEP. And so far tools
are not as readily available to hack your network. But
consider the following. WEP was ratified in the late 1990’s
less than six years later it was exploited. This is typical
of almost every computer technology. It is only a matter of
time before technologies are exploited. Just always
remember Security is a multi-tiered companywide
responsibility. From providing physical security to web
site security all matters should be considered serious and
not taken lightly. So before you grab a wireless access
point and slap it in your network, I urge you to think
twice.
You may think you are in a sinking boat because you are a
small organization not able to implement the latest
technologies and afford the newest access points. Or maybe
you cannot afford to pay an IT staff over 100k-200k a year
to maintain your medium size network. Executives at
N2
Network Solutions say you should consider IT outsourcing or
IT consulting. You can get Industry certified engineers on
a project by project basis. Contractual relationships are
also available to dump the responsibility of your network
into their hands for a fraction of the price. To keep your
small to medium size network performing like a Fortune 500
machine invest the capital and secure your assets.

Site to Site wireless smart?

If you own a medium to large size company have you ever looked at how much your point to point T1 lines cost? Don’t you wish you could eliminate those reoccurring costs every month. Well you can. There are public frequency and private frequency radios you can purchase for this. All you need is line of site from your two locations. Even if you don’t have line of site you can lease an antenna and a high rise building. All of these and your throughput increases to Gigabytes per second as opposed to those weak links you currently have.