Security Methods of Wireless Networking
Since Networks carry all sorts of confidential data, so security is an important aspect of any wireless network structure. Security ensures that the same level of data integrity and confidentiality as a wired network are maintained. Without properly implemented security measures, any wireless network adapter coming within range of another network adapter or access point can join the network.
The following are the wireless networking security methods:
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP):
Wired Equivalent Privacy is intended to stop the interference of radio frequency that is signaled by unauthorized users and this security measure is most suitable for the small networks. This is one of the basic way to secure your wireless network from the outsiders. Securing the wireless network using WEP encryption is a very old technique but it is still used by most of the people.
The WEP security method is based on the RC4 encryption algorithm. In the WEP all the client computers and Access points are configured with the same encryption and decryption keys. WEP encryption comes in two types 1. 64 bit encryption 2. 128 bit encryption.
Service Set Identifier (SSID):
Service Set Identifier (SSID) acts a simple password by allowing WLAN network to be split up into different networks and each having a unique identifier. These identifiers are configured in the multiple access points. All wireless “hotspots” or transmitters that allow Wi-Fi access have an SSID (service set identifier).
To access any of any networks, a computer is configured in such a way that each is having a corresponding SSID identifier for that network. If the SSID match between the two computers or networks then access is granted to each other.
Media Access Control filtering (MAC Access Control):
A list of the MAC addresses of the client computers can be inputted into an Access point and only those computers are granted to give the access to the network. When a computer makes a request, its MAC address is compared to the list of the MAC addresses to the Access point and based on this access permission granted to deny.
This is a good security method but it is mainly involved in the small wireless networks because there is more manual work is involved of entering the MAC address into the Access point.
Bluetooth is a simple type of the wireless networking that operates in the digital devices, like mobiles phones, personal computers. Bluetooth technology falls in the category of personal area networking because it operates in the range of 30 to 300 feet. Bluetooth uses the radio waves technology, which is not very expensive and has low power consumption.
In the Bluetooth technology eight devices can be connected to each other at the same time. Bluetooth can also be found in the headsets, hands-free kits, wireless keyboards and mouse.
This technique is used by most of the wireless users where one need define a pass phrase (alpha numeric key) within a router and the same will be used to authenticate the computer to get access to the wireless network. Advantage of using this technique is if a pass phrase is defined it will be encrypted and the encrypted key will change periodically. Hackers will be able to get only the encrypted key and if they are not able to break it within the definite period then the encrypted key will be changed. Thus it makes the job of hackers very difficult to hack the pass phrase. The encrypted key can be decrypted only with the help of pass phrase which we entered into the router. The length of the pass phrase should be minimum of eight characters and it can be upto 32 characters
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