Wireless LAN SecurityAbstractThere is a huge growth in the usage of wireless networks. This means that the security standards must also evolve and grow. The main problem for users of wireless networks is knowing all the different ways they can be attacked while using their systems. There are many benefits available to wireless users but proper security should be implemented.Keywords
IntroductionIn the 1980's the first generation wireless modems were developed by radio operators it was known as packet radio. A second and third generation was released shortly after increasing in data rates. In 1991 the first IEEE Wireless LAN workshop was held and a standard was created.Wireless connection gives users and organisations many advantages some of these are portability, cheaper to install and flexibility.WLAN gives the user the option of being able to move a laptop freely around the office or home this eliminates the need for wires while keeping network connectivity. Reducing wiring enables better flexibility, increased efficiency and lowering the cost of wiring.Wireless and mobile networks are constantly expanding their capabilities as bandwidth is always increasing and because of its flexibility are becoming the connection of choice for users.However with this flexibility comes certain risks that are eliminated with wired connections for example denial of service attacks where users and companies confidentiality could be threatened.DiscussionIn the 1980's the first generation wireless modems were developed by radio operators it was known as packet radio. A second and third generation was released shortly after increasing in data rates.IEEE 802.11In 1991 the first IEEE WLAN workshop was held this is when standards for Wireless LANs began.A basic description of wireless technologies would be to be able to communicate without the need for a physical connection. A wireless network transmits data using radio frequency compared to wired which uses cables.Khan (2008) explains that WLAN is made up of 2 components an access point (AP) and a node. The AP acts as a bridge that interlinks the nodes and wired network infrastructure it also gives wireless node connection. In order to discover wireless networks a client would need to probe request frames (fig.1). If a client finds an AP then the AP would send a probe response frame (Khan 2008, pg 2).Fig. 1WLANs are more suitable for places that have low security requirements such as home user and small networks. Wireless networks are being used widely in businesses, for this to be successful new security mechanisms are always being developed so wireless security can be just as secure as LAN security.A key component for this security would be to deny access to the access point to unauthorised users. The physical access to a wired LAN requires entry to a building or home in order to breach security.Wireless Access points (AP) on the other hand can be...