Security

Securing the Wireless

Among those who are deploying a mobile strategy, security is at the top of the list of concerns. The problem is that you can't really have a good security policy for mobile unless it is part of your overall strategy.

While talking about enterprise wireless networks security, it is very important to understand the about what are the most prevalent threats for wireless-enabled laptops. Because the laptops are the most common equipment in any enterprise network that can carry mission critical enterprise data and it floats on wireless networks.

While talking about the trends dominating in the networking market, Franchesca Walker, managing director, enterprise solutions at Foundry Networks explains her market observations by adding, “Security managers are looking for tiered security. Enterprise organizations in the Middle East region are getting opting for kind of solutions which can not only allow their infrastructure to be secured, but also release pressure from their heads to manage and monitor the network security.”

Walker also highlighted some other emerging trends, she says, “Awareness towards network optimization is high. Consolidation of networking infrastructure is also happening very dynamically in the region. More and more inclination is happening towards highway networks.”

Interestingly, it has been found that wireless clients are at risk not only while connected to an open network but also at risk any time the radio is turned on.

Enterprise wireless networks can mitigate many of the risks to clients, but unfortunately all of this protection goes away the moment a user on the road connects to a hotspot in the airport, or even when the user has a hotspot in his or her network favorites list.

There are many ways a client can be compromised, ranging from user error or ignorance to flaws in the operating system.

When a user has an unsecured network in the favorites list, he or she becomes vulnerable to a much subtler attack than the well-known “evil twin” spoofed access point. When no network is available, the system will look for each network it has previously connected to. If the attacker provides a network with that name, the user's system will automatically connect to it.

Connecting to the false network exposes any network services that have not been patched, and it may initiate automatic tasks such as checking for new e-mail or system updates. All the attacker needs is a network service that looks long enough for a client to try to connect and send the login and password information.

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