Many organizations are installing and
implementing wireless networks. To help business
managers make informed decisions, Altius IT
provides this list of the Top 10 wireless
- Bandwidth Stealing – Outside intruders
can connect to wireless access points. By
using the Internet connection to download
music, games, and other software, they
reduce employee productivity.
- Criminal Activity - An unauthorized user
can use the Internet connection for
malicious purposes such as hacking or
launching Denial of Service Attacks.
- Masquerade – By using the Internet line,
an intruder “hides” under protective cover
and appears to be a part of your
- Litigation Risks – Organizations are at
risk if the intruder is doing illegal
activity such as distributing child
pornography. If the criminal activity is
discovered and investigated, the origin of
the attack will be traced back to the
- Reputation - An organization’s image and
reputation is at stake if the wireless
network was used as the initial access point
to hack into restricted government networks.
- Financial risks - Most ISP's not only
reveal customer information to the
authorities to assist with legitimate
criminal investigations, but also hold the
organization responsible for any and all
activities related to the Internet
- Confidentiality – Wireless networks tend
to be connected to in-house private
networks. This may allow an intruder to
completely bypass any hardware firewall
protective devices between the private
network and the broadband connection.
- Evil Twins - Most new laptops include
the ability to connect to wireless networks.
Laptop computers may accidentally connect to
fake (“evil twin”) networks. Employees
believe they are connected to the authentic
network however they are actually connected
to a fake network that steals ids,
passwords, and other confidential
- Clear text – Some network information is
transmitted in clear text and is not
encrypted. Once inside your network, an
intruder can install a network sniffer and
gain access to confidential information
without the victim’s knowledge.
- Information Sensitivity – Not all data
has the same sensitivity. Due to the risks
involved with wireless networks,
confidential data such as client lists,
trade secrets, etc. should not be stored on
or accessible by wireless networks.
Securing Wireless Routers
Altius IT recommends the following steps be
taken to secure your wireless routers:
- Default Password - change the default
administrator password. Use your browser to
access the address provided in the manual.
Use the control panel to make the change.
- Password Strength - create a long and
strong password using a combination of upper
and lower case characters, numbers, and
- Service Set Identifier (SSID) - change
the SSID name to something unique. Disable
broadcasting of the SSID.
- Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) - UPnP
provides automatic discovery of other Plug n
Play devices on the network. Where possible,
disable Wide Area Network (WAN) management
and UPnP connectivity.
- Encryption - Create a strong encryption
key using WPA2 AES. Create a long and strong
Pre-Shared Key (PSK) that has at least 40
random characters, numbers, and symbols.
- Firewall - enable the Stateful Packet
Inspection (SPI) firewall on the device.
- Ping - the router should not respond to
outside ping Internet Control Message
Protocol (ICMP) requests.
- Management - Enable only https or secure
shell (ssh) for router management. Don't use
HTTP or telnet since they send information
in clear text.
- Updates - periodically check for
Network security audits help organizations
identify, manage, and reduce their wireless network security risks. Formal and
ensure a top down approach to managing
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network risks | wireless vulnerabilities |
wireless network security | wireless security