Enhancing wireless network security IEEE 802.1x

Date
2002-01-01
Authors
Qleibo, Haider
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Altmetrics
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Research Projects
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Abstract

Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs), widely prevalent in corporate environments, is a current giant leap in information technology. This new paradigm of communications has leverage over other ways of data transmission, because it enables businesses and corporate environments to operate in a fast, better and more profitable way. Through the use of always-on, always-connected and always-available content and applications, WLAN combines data connectivity with user mobility. The IEEE standard for wireless LAN is 802.11. The 802.11 is emerging as a significant aspect of Internetworking. Growing rapidly in the wireless local area network environment, 802.11s are easy to find, because wireless technology allows the network to go where wire cannot. This fact, however, raises a number of security concerns. The current security solutions offered on a private 802.11 network in a public setting are not sufficient to protect sensitive material, so other measures are needed to provide adequate protection for data passed over the air. Although encryption, authentication and authorization are the pillars of security, there are other techniques that can be used and implemented for network defense. Security concerns have evolved, because there are limitations and weaknesses in controlling access and there are flaws and vulnerabilities in WEP data encryption. These things add to the insecure nature of radio broadcast transmission. This study discusses some security models offered over wireless networks and integrates the security enhancement by combining some of the wired techniques such as adding Kerberos to the wireless security equation along with RADIUS for increased authentication and authorization so that compromising the network is a non-trivial task. Those models are designed to prevent unauthorized access to the network from outside the wireless network environment. While we can make intrusion difficult, we cannot prevent hackers with portable devices and scanners from intercepting data and gaining access to the network. If we want flexibility and mobility, we can have this, but not with total security. The 802.11 technology protection is not failsafe as long as there is technology that allows portable computing devices with scanners to gain access to the LAN or intercept data.

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Electrical and computer engineering, Computer engineering, Information assurance
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