Wireless networks are growing more prevalent in businesses and homes. Most mobile devices now get a wireless network connection with the device’s brand or carrier. There are additionally public hotspots at places like coffee shops, restaurants, and airports, to mention a few making it more comfortable for us to pick up on work or with buddies online.
However, no matter how beneficial wireless networks might be, they can offer a security risk. For example, data can be withdrawn, resulting in penalties. Here are a few of the risks organizations and individuals require to be knowledgeable of.
Wireless Network Security Risks
Security can be complex with wireless networks, considering the data is transferred “over the air.” Wireless networks utilize similar technology to send and receive data as radio transmission, making it straightforward for hackers and criminals to get into your network, even if it is password authorized. In addition, some technical issues can interfere with the wireless network’s administration. For illustration, interference can be a problem if numerous employees in the building are working on wireless networks.
Wired networks can also conflict with a wireless signal. While rare, the interference can result in a lack of communication abilities over the wireless network.
- Coverage with wireless networks isn’t forever as broad as you might need, especially if the construction has a reinforced steel structure leading to “black spots.” These are spaces where a wireless signal is unavailable.
- Transmission rates can be slower if the organization has an extensive wireless network. To counter this, many companies also employ a wired or fiber-optic network as a “backbone.”
- Even though there are security risks and limitations with a wireless network, there are benefits that make it deserving a company’s time and money to establish one or enable employees to exercise their own.
- Efficiency can improve between employees, businesses, and customers. Employees in the territory can quickly review available stock, prices, or order status when they are out with buyers.
- Employers and employees are continually in touch, even when one or both are working remotely.
- Wireless networks do allow for more flexibility. It is beneficial if you have remote employees or some that are often out in the field. Instead of accessing the data from a stationary business desktop computer, all the data needed is at the employee’s fingertips.
- The foremost disadvantage of wireless networks is the shortage of security. However, you can use security protocols to improve safety and protect your data from hackers and thieves.
How Security Protocols for Wi-Fi Work
Wireless security protocols encrypt data from senders till the message approaches the receiver. A common analogy to describe the manner in layman’s terms is to create two people engaging in a crowded room, swapping a codeword, and formulating a secret handshake that beacons a message received from one or the other is to be believed. Instead of accepting secret handshakes and coded messages, the wireless security protocol employs encryption keys. With a potential 340 trillion key sequences, it is almost impracticable for hackers to access the system and get away with the data. While this does seem like an impenetrable security system, there are a few vulnerabilities.
Understanding encryption on how it operates will help you choose which protocol will shield your data:
- WEP: WEP has the weakest security since it uses radio waves to transmit messages. WEP uses the corresponding encryption key for all messages making it easy for hackers to crack. There is software available that can split WEP encryption in minutes.
- WPA: This interim security protocol uses TKIP (temporal key integrity protocol) for wireless protection. It is an improvement over WEP since it resolved two problems associated with the old protocol. The key length is increased, and a unique 48-bit number is assigned to each message which is more difficult for hackers to break encryption code.
- WPA2: The replacement for WEP and WPA, this security protocol is compatible with TKIP and the more robust AES encryption. AES ( advanced encryption standard) uses symmetric block ciphers to send each message with a unique key. It eliminates the patterns hackers look for when trying to break an encrypted message.