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When it comes to wireless networks, security can't be an afterthought

17 May 2016

The Internet of Things, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) office environments, and cloud-based applications are contributing to rapid changes in how organisations deploy and use wireless networks. With these changes come new security challenges for wireless networks and different approaches to deal with them, according to Ilan Rubin, managing director of Wavelink

Rubin says, “Security should be one of the biggest factors when planning an enterprise wireless network deployment. Wireless networks can be used by hackers to gain unauthorised access to networks and access sensitive information. 

“Most people are aware that public wireless networks can pose a risk to those using them, but unsecure enterprise wireless networks can also expose companies to risks. All it takes is one person to get past a network’s defences for a serious breach to occur.” 

According to Rubin, to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers, organisations should plan their wireless networks with the security implications in mind. This means building networks designed to maximise the effectiveness of security platforms, with architecture that aids in the monitoring of network traffic and swift action in the event of an attempted attack. 

Regarding security infrastructure, organisations should look for solutions that combine comprehensive security with enterprise access, enable segmentation of devices, and access layers across both wired and wireless networks, he says. Security technology protecting wireless networks should also embody a flexible platform with end-to-end protection, and be easily scalable to enterprises of all sizes. 

Rubin says, “It is far more effective and advantageous for organisations to design their wireless networks around cyber security capabilities, rather than viewing security as an afterthought. This way, enterprise access in a secure architecture framework is guaranteed from the outset. 

“If possible, wireless network architecture planning should incorporate the hardware as much as it does the software elements. For example, some wireless network infrastructure offerings come with integrated access points, application appliances, and controller-based management facilities. This sort of solution can be deployed and scaled for organisations of all sizes.” 

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