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Introduction to Basic Concepts and Considerations of Wireless Networking Security

Introduction to Basic Concepts and Considerations of Wireless Networking Security
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Author(s): Carlos F. Lerma (Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Mexico) and Armando Vega (Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, Mexico)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch352

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Abstract

Local networks have been, from the beginning, a controversial topic. The organizations that have implemented these types of networks have shown their concern about their levels of security. Ever since the discovery of vulnerabilities among first-generation wireless networks (Borisov, Goldberg, & Wagner, 2001), analysts and security companies have tried to understand and mitigate those risks. Some of those efforts have contributed towards the study of wireless security. Other efforts have failed, presented a different group of vulnerabilities, or require expensive proprietary software and hardware. Finally, other efforts try to mitigate the problem piling up a complex group of security technologies, like virtual private networks. Despite the benefits they bring, a great number of concerns related to security have limited the massive adoption of wireless networks, particularly in sectors that are highly aware of the existing security risks such as the financial and government sectors. Even though there are a significant number of risks inherent to the mass transmission of data to any individual within the boundaries of a wireless network, a good amount of these are installed without any security measure at all. However, the majority of businesses that have implemented some sort of wireless security measures have done so in the most rudimentary way, bringing a false sense of security to users. When the first IEEE 802.11 wireless standards were in the phase of development, security was not as important as it is today. The level of complexity of network threats was much lower and the adoption of wireless technologies was still in an introductory phase. It was under these circumstances that the first standard for wireless network security, known as wired equivalent privacy (WEP), was originated. WEP underestimated the necessary means to turn air security into an element equivalent to the security provided by a cable. In contrast, the security methods of modern wireless networks are designed to work in hostile environments where there is a lack of well-defined physical network perimeters.

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