RealTime IT News

Study: WiFi to Be Huge

Solving potential security problems is essential before wireless local area networks (WLANs) will be widely adopted in the enterprise, a new study by Cahners In-Stat Group said.

University of California researchers claimed earlier this year that 802.11 wireless networks were subject to security breaches. The In-Stat study notes that the industry already was seeking to bolster security when the story broke, and the success of those efforts is tied to the long-term success of WLANs.

"Wi-Fi 802.11b products are the first WLAN technology to gain footprints in standard business environments," said Gemma Paulo, industry analyst for In-Stat's Voice and Data Communications Group. "Ratification of IEEE 802.11 is important in boosting end-user confidence in the level of security in wireless networking."

However, the study noted that throughput speed will be lowered because of enhanced encryption, a problem that the industry group examining security must keep in mind.

Still, the study predicts a bright future for 802.11. It claims that, if security problems are adequately addressed, unit shipments of WLANs for homes and offices will exceed 20 million by 2003.

The findings are part of the study: "Free & Easy Wireless Networking? A Wi-Fi Security Update."