Many WLANs Left Vulnerable, Report Says

Nine out of 10 U.S. executives surveyed by Jupiter Research earlier this year cited security as the top factor influencing their decisions regarding deployment of wireless networks.

Yet more than half of all enterprises are taking only basic technological precautions — or none at all — to protect their wireless networks, according to a new Jupiter Research report, “802.11 Security: Who’s Listening to your Wi-Fi?”

The report also said that just 28% of enterprises deploy point-to-point user VPNs as part of a wireless security strategy, while 29% of enterprises are using the 802.1X, a subset of the 802.11i standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This new wireless security standard is expected to be ratified this year.

Even among the bare majority (52%) of companies that take wireless security measures, many “rely purely on ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions with basics such as WEP (wired equivalency privacy) with either manual or automated rotation of keys, restricted SSID access or MAC-based device authentication,” said Jupiter Research Senior Analyst Julie Ask.

Indeed, restricted SSID (service set identifier) is the most popular security step taken by enterprises to protect their wireless networks, according to the survey, with 44% of respondents deploying SSID.

“802.11 Security: Who’s Listening to your Wi-Fi?” was announced at Jupitermedia’s 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo Spring 2003 in Boston.

Editor’s note: Jupitermedia Corp., which owns Jupiter Research, is the publisher of this Web site.

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