The time we are living in is heavily dominated by wireless network. This was one of the revolutionary steps which have shaped the world we are living in. Even though wireless is everywhere and offers the elimination of the cable mess, it does come with some security vulnerability. This was even more true at the time it came out. But the good news is the industry has already made a decent amount of progress against this vulnerability.
Data packet transmission
The way data packets are transmitted from one place to another is mostly within the cable but as for wireless data is sort flying out in the air. So, there are bunch of people if they wanted to, could grab some of these packets with the right equipment. What if the packet they catch, contains your personal details including your social security numbers, passwords and other vulnerable stuff?
Previously, it was possible to simply walk into a WAP (Wireless Access Point) covered area and connect to the Internet just by simply turning on your device. Now, all of these hardware manufacturers by default set some security which won’t let anyone just walk in and connect to your internet for free. Still they are to hold anyone back for a little while but do completely build a heavy guard against malicious outsiders, you need to raise the security level in addition or over the default security.
Wireless network has three options you can select to secure access to your network and secure the data transfer. They are Mac Address filtering, authentication and data encryption. Before we jump into these methods let’s look at some of the common practices and then will move on to those methods.
Radio Power and Access Point Placement
When setting up a new wireless network, remember to keep the space. You can limit risks by hiding the network form outsiders. If you use an omni-directional antenna that sends and receive signals in all directions, for instance, keep the device near the centre of the home or your office. The closer you place it near the wall, the further anyone outside your home or office will detect the network.
Many of the wireless access point allows you to adjust the radio power levels of the antenna. Decreasing the radio power until you reach your safest points or threshold that you want to broadcast your network is something worth trying if you are concerned about securing your network. This will of course take some trials and errors until you reach the satisfying points.
Mac Address Filtering
Almost every WAP has Mac Address filtering available to them. This is a method that limit access to your wireless network based on the physical, hard-wired address of the unit’s wireless NIC. Mac address filtering is one of the handy way of saying, allow this or that kind of users but not anyone else. You create this list which limits the access to your wireless network. But, hacky people might be a bit tacky in this case, since, anybody can perform a little Mac Spoofing and bam, they are on your network. So, again, mac address filtering does not absolutely make your wireless network fully protected but it does layer a shield of protection.