James D. Johns
Computer Science 630
History has shown that newer, cutting-edge technologies have been subject to an initial period of testing and debugging. Wireless network security is certainly no exception. The process of maintaining data integrity and prohibiting unauthorized access has proven to be problematic at best. While various companies have incorporated security algorithms into their products, the nature of wireless networking still provides relatively easy access to those networks. When vulnerabilities in the initial wireless security algorithms were discovered, those same companies pioneered efforts to enhance security. Unfortunately, those efforts have only recently been fully standardized.
Originally, wireless security consisted simply of filtering data transmission based on the MAC address of the client machine. This procedure was based on the theory that corporate IT departments are responsible for issuing wireless LAN cards and adapters to users and should therefore be able to maintain a corporate-wide list of MAC addresses which were in turn allowed to connect to the organization's wireless network. During the initial connection procedures, wireless access points (AP) can verify the MAC addresses of connecting workstations to ensure the corresponding network adapter is on the list of known valid MAC addresses. While this procedure was fairly effective (as MAC addresses can be forged), system administrators quickly grew tired of maintaining this list of MAC addresses, especially as wireless networks grew in popularity and size. MAC address filtering still remains a highly viable means of securing a local area network in a non-business environment, particularly when a small number of computers are connected to that network and the number of computers is not likely to change.
A similar method of limiting the IP address pool in a DHCP-environment quickly emerged. In effect, this... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2006, 03). Security in 802.11 Networks. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2006, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Security-80211-Networks-80594.html
"Security in 802.11 Networks" StudyMode.com. 03 2006. 03 2006 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Security-80211-Networks-80594.html>.
"Security in 802.11 Networks." StudyMode.com. 03, 2006. Accessed 03, 2006. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Security-80211-Networks-80594.html.