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April 2003

WLAN security: Best practices for wireless network security

First-generation wireless networking placed you between a rock and a hard place. Should you cave in and deploy a WLAN, despite well-documented protocol vulnerabilities and rampant threats? Or should you try to ban wireless, despite its business advantages and the unnerving suspicion that rogue access points (APs) will crop up anyway? It's no longer a no-win, either/or choice. Recent improvements in wireless protocols and infrastructure technologies make "WLAN security" a realistic goal, not a laughable oxymoron. "We've been forced to take [wireless] security more seriously than a lot of campuses have," says Col. Donald Welch, associate dean for information and education technology at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The academy recently installed a WLAN security suite and plans to offer campus-wide wireless connectivity by fall. As West Point and thousands of other organizations are now discovering, WLANs can be made secure if you're smart about how you integrate wireless with your wired enterprise, leverage your ...

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