Importance of Wireless Network Security & Encryption

A growing number of websites are being hacked and this past year alone, big companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Sony, Apple, NBC, Evernote and others have all been hacked. Most states mandate that secure wireless networks must implement encryption. The Federal Government has suggested making large companies disclose any and all information leaks to affected customers. Any information leaks or unauthorized access to such sensitive data on either a personal or business network may result in major liability issues.

network securityTypically, wireless networks are the easiest network to target and are often not secured correctly. Even basic encryption cannot always prevent a hacker from accessing your network; however, using no encryption makes your network immediately vulnerable to attacks. Any third party may connect to your network and discover your resources such as shared files, computers and devices that may also be vulnerable to attack and explotation. If a network is left open, you are not afforded the legal protection that you would if you had it secure.

WEP (wireless equivalent privacy) at one time was an effective means of network encryption; however, it is less secure in this day and age. Despite this, WEP is still better than no encryption. WEP encryption can still leave you vulnerable to active attacks which inject traffic from unauthorized nodes, active attacks that decrypt traffic based on fooling the aceess point, dictionary based attacks which allow full decrption of all network traffic as well as passive attacks that decrypt traffic. Such attacks are very easy to setup and implement with a basic laptop. WEP uses RC4 data encryption which is much weaker than today’s encryption technologies. WEP encryption allows attackers to exploit it due to its key exchange mechanism and low grade cipher. Many routers are now capable of using WPA2 AES, which is the most secure wireless encryption standard. If your router or wireless adapter does not support WPA2 AES, get in contact with us so that we can help you with an upgrade.

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