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Security Tips for Wireless Networks

The increased use of wireless networks has necessitated security of the back-end as well as the front-end. The concept of end-to-end security makes it necessary that companies first define their security objectives before allocating resources for the deployment of firewalls, encryption, anti-spam, anti-viruses, etc.

The continuous merger of technologies enables interoperability and allows employees to stay connected. At the same time it also increases the possibilities for the transfer of viruses. A comprehensive security policy should be implemented. The policy should cover issues such as permissions, upgrades, access, breaches, etc.

802.1x technologies offer security because access to the WLAN possible only if the user possesses an authentication key. The technology works in environments that have both wired and wireless networks. Encrypting data like customer information, company data, etc helps to maintain privacy even if a mobile device is stolen or misplaced. For highly critical data, a 128-bit encryption key is preferred in the industry. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) should be used with the VPNs in order to authorize access to sensitive applications. Thus, as marketing personnel do not need to know customer credit card numbers, their access to the credit card database can be blocked.

Endpoint scanning technology is useful for recognizing the wired and wireless devices accessing a network. Remote devices trying to access an enterprise network may introduce viruses into the network. This is because very often the devices are owned by individuals who may use them without security protection and in doing so may pick up viruses. Wireless devices should have some kind of challenge to offer, such as PIN or password or both, before granting access. A two-step authentication provides greater security for larger organizations.

Security should be tested regularly and remote devices should be used to make hack attempts. Security efforts should be monitored for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley. Security managers need to stay updated regarding the latest developments in network security.

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