Wireless Network Security – How Secure Is It?

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WIRELESS NETWORK SECURITY – HOW SECURE IS IT?

by

Chris Bradley

ITT Technical Institute Information Systems Security student

November 23, 2010

Dr. French:

This report on “Wireless Network Security” is submitted in accordance with your assignment for November 23, 2010.

Sincerely,

Chris Bradley

ABSTRACT
For this project, I asked the question “is wireless network protection truly safe?” My literature search led me to conclude that, if consumers use the most up-to-date and secure wireless network protection, they can connect to their wireless network and conduct business safely and confidently.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page ----------------------------------------------- i Letter of Transmittal ------------------------------------ ii Abstract ------------------------------------------------- iii Table of Contents ---------------------------------------- iv Statement of the Problem --------------------------------- 1 Methods -------------------------------------------------- 1 Results -------------------------------------------------- 2 Conclusions ---------------------------------------------- 2 Acknowledgements ----------------------------------------- 3 References ----------------------------------------------- 5 Appendix A ----------------------------------------------- 6 Appendix B ----------------------------------------------- 9

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Is wireless network protection truly safe? Can the average consumer feel comfortable trusting it? Technology is advancing at an alarming rate. Consumers are always looking for the most convenient ways to connect to their network and the Internet, and wireless networks are becoming more and more accepted and practical. Sensitive information, such as username/password combinations, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, etc, in the wrong hands could cause a consumer costly problems. While not 100% secure, using the most secure wireless network protection available will keep your wireless network safe from most intruders. If consumers use the most up-to-date and secure wireless network protection, they can connect to their wireless network and conduct business safely and confidently.

METHODS
I conducted a literature search on wireless network technology and security, as well as different levels of wireless network protection. I first conducted a Google search for “wireless network security”. I then logged on to the ITT Technical Institute’s Student Portal, clicked on “Virtual Library”, then clicked on “Periodicals”, then “Ebscohost (all)” and performed a search for “wireless network security”. I found a number of articles and publications that contained precise information explaining the advantages and disadvantages of wireless network technology as well as the different levels of wireless security.

RESULTS
My literature search provided the following informative articles: * “Forget WEP, give me WPA encryption”, by Berend de Boer * “Implementing wireless networks without compromising security”, by Marshall Breeding * “War driving and WLAN security issues – attacks, security design and remedies”, by Biju Issac and Lawan A. Mohammed * “Wireless network configuration and security strategies”, by The American Library Association * “Wireless networks and security issues”, by Farok Vakil

CONCLUSIONS
In my research, I found that there are a few different solutions to the many security issues in wireless networking, and those solutions are evolving as technology advances. The most prominent wireless security configurations are Wireless Equivalency Protection (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WAP), and WPA2 (Breeding, 2005)(American Library Association, 2005). While some security is better than having an open WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), I found that a consumer can confidently conduct business on their wireless network if they change the default password of the router, change the...
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