Your users are your first line of defense.
They need to play an active role in helping to
protect information systems. Listed below are
the Top 10 steps they can take when using
- Signal strength. In general, the closer
the user is to the access point, the
stronger the signal and the faster the
transfer rate. Rogue (unauthorized) access
points may or may not be in the same
facility as authorized devices. Users should
know that signal strength alone, is not
sufficient to determine authorized networks.
- Manual connection. Portable devices such
as laptops and handhelds should be
configured so that they do not automatically
connect to wireless networks. A manual
process helps ensure that the device
connects to the appropriate wireless
- Legitimate network. Since Wi-Fi signals
can travel a long distance, users should
check with the management of the facility
that provides the connectivity to ensure
they are connecting to the appropriate
network. Unauthorized "evil twin" networks
can capture logon credentials and other
- Encryption. There are many different
types of encryption methods used to secure
wireless networks. Wired Equivalent Privacy
(WEP) is the oldest and least preferred.
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is newer and
offers better protection. WPA2 is the newest
and should be used if possible. Users should
use Virtual Private Network (VPN) when
connecting to corporate systems.
- Shoulder surfing. Ensure that others
cannot obtain the user's ID and password as
it is typed. In addition, sensitive
information should not be able to be read on
the screen by unauthorized personnel.
- Screen aware Users should look at the
address bar URL. This will help protect
against phishing attacks. Secure pages
typically have a URL starting with https and
include a secure page notification such as a
- Firewalls. Firewalls help restrict
traffic to and from the device. Users should
ensure the firewall is turned on so it can
actively protect the device.
- Patch management. Users should ensure
that operating system and security
protection software is patched and
up-to-date. Ensure browsers and updates to
third party software packages are applied in
a timely manner. Critical updates should be
tested and applied as soon as possible.
- Battery saver. Portable devices
constantly search for available networks.
Users can increase battery life by turning
off Wi-Fi when it isn't needed. This also
helps ensure that an intruder can't connect
to the device.
- Incident management. Users should inform
the appropriate personnel if they believe
they logged into the wrong network,
sensitive information such as their
ID/password was compromised, their device
was lost or stolen, etc.
Network security audits help organizations
identify, manage, and reduce their risks related
to mobile computing devices and communicating
with wireless networks. Formal and
ensure a top down approach to managing network
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Tags: top 10 wi-fi risks | wi-fi network |
wireless networks | wi-fi connectivity | mobile
computing | wireless communications