Security in wireless networks - Vulnerabilities and Countermeasures

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för Teknik (TEK)

Abstract: The market for wireless networks has increased over the years, more and more organizations implement this technology. The need to work flexible, convenient and cost-effective are three reasons for the technology’s raised popularity. The use of wireless networks has exposed new aspects of network security. The information is no longer dependent on wires because it can be transmitted trough radio waves instead. The exposure of information increases, therefore also the vulnerabilities. This leads to more security problems related to the exposure of the transmitted information. It is difficult to understand the importance of network security and why to invest resources for it. Investing in security can lead to lower costs in the long run, because incidents can be perceived before it is too late. This thesis will describe why it is important to perform a risk assessment before developing a security policy. One of the reasons for having a security policy is to clarify the responsibilities for the network security to raise understanding for security within the organization. Other motive is to define how the information should be protected when transmitted in the wireless network. For example, by using the IEEE standard protocol (WEP), which may not be the best encryption solution. For organization that handles sensitive information it is important to be aware of the security problems that exist and to prevent the security risks. A case study was performed at several county councils in Sweden. The reason for this was that county councils handle sensitive information. The case study’s main purpose was to evaluate the level of knowledge about wireless security at county councils.

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