Wireless networking may have taken over all aspects of our lives, but it remains one of the biggest concerns in an organization when it comes to setting up a wireless network. The question is: why does something that connects us more efficiently can also become a threat?
Wireless networking is what is keeping the world connected, despite the limitations of distance and coverage. Just like air, it is everywhere and everyone is on the grid, all connected. However, when everything is traveling through a single medium, it poses a threat to almost everyone present on that grid. This threat has compelled the organizations to start considering the security of their devices and business data they hold.
As wireless networking is becoming the central theme of every communicating medium, it is becoming more and more important to prevent the systems and networks from attacks and misuse of confidential data.
There are two reasons why wireless networking is prone to threats. One, because airwaves are used for communication and these airwaves are exposed to everyone, and every device now operating on a single network has terminals and access points vulnerable to attackers. Wireless networks are vulnerable to attacks and intruders in three ways: rogue access points, weak security on user’s mobiles and laptops, and Denial of Service (DoS).
Rogue access point
A rogue access point can be defined as an open portal for someone who is actually not allowed to have an access to it. This false access point is set up by someone who either wants to eavesdrop on the information being shared through the network or simply wants to enjoy the convenience of network availability. It is an access point that has been installed on your network without having the authorization to do so.
Even if the access point was not created with a malicious intent, an authorized access point leaves your network vulnerable to attacks by someone within a close proximity to you or connected on the same network.
To see if there are any rogue access points made on your network, two things have to be tested:
- Is the access point on the list of all the access points your network manages?
- Whether the access point has a secure connection to the network
Denial of Service (DoS)
It is another threat that wireless networks usually face. A cyber attack that interrupts the smooth transmission of data and requests sent over the network by flooding the network with sending too much traffic with the intention of delaying or cutting off the flow of intended requests. For example, not letting customers get into an online shop by flooding the gateways.
Symptoms of this cyber attack include:
- Slow performance of the site
- Site not being available to all visitors
- Denial of access to the website
- Increase in spam emails
These are the basic ways attackers intrude and misuse your network for their agendas. With increasing dependence on wireless networking, organizations need to protect their networks from such threats by implementing complete security programs, so as to keep their asset protected from malicious attacks and piracies.