Managing Security Risks in Wireless Networks

by Michelle Sellers

This is 2017 and wireless networks are an important part of the structure in nearly every business. Unfortunately they are also a large vector for attackers to compromise vulnerabilities in a system that hasn’t been secured properly. This whitepaper will discuss the inherent vulnerabilities of a wireless network and ways to manage and mitigate these risks properly.

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The author will discuss the different types of vulnerabilities and threats that can put a business at risk of data loss and malicious attacks. In order to effectively secure a wireless environment, many steps need to be taken to ensure not only that the network is set up properly, but also that the network remains secure as technology adapts.
For the purposes of this paper, research has been conducted using reputable sources and has been compiled in a manner to make it easy for a technology department to understand what the concerns are and how to prevent themselves from being a victim of attack.

Table of Contents
    What is Wireless Communication?
    WLAN Equipment
    Wireless Standards
    Wireless Security Protocols
Literature Review
    Ethical and Legal Concerns
    Security Concerns
    Policies and Procedures
    Literary Improvements
Research Method
    Wireless Vulnerabilities
    Wireless Threats
    Ways to secure
        Vendor Audit
        Steps to Secure the End User
        Steps to Securing the Structure

Wireless networks have increased in numbers and in popularity over the years. Users want the convenience of being able to access the internet from anywhere. For most businesses it’s actually become more of a need than a want to have the convenience of wireless connectivity. With convenience also comes a security risk. A network that is convenient for users can also be convenient for attackers.
Although there seems to plenty of technical documentation on security risks in wireless networks, wireless networks are continuously being compromised leaving vulnerabilities that make it difficult to traverse a wireless network without knowledge of the security that lies within. With the constant change to wireless network technologies; documentation becomes outdated almost as fast as it can be made available.
Up to date research is important for security managers to adequately protect a network and manage the security risks in a wireless network. Having the knowledge needed to identify and manage risks will significantly reduce the number of vulnerabilities on a wireless network.
The purpose of this study is to identify risks in wireless networks and to explore ways to mitigate and manage those risks. By examining the current vulnerabilities that can compromise a wireless network we can better understand the potential risks and assess ways that security managers can attempt to mitigate those risks.

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