Among the factors that have held back enterprise uptake of wireless LANs outside greenfield sites have been security fears and lack of performance compared to wireline Ethernet. The past week has brought little reassurance on the first point, but has highlighted developments pointing to the creation of Gigabit Wi-Fi. A few days after experts exposed vulnerabilities in the WPA WLAN security standard, more question marks were raised over Wi-Fi's openness to attack.
Lack of WLAN security
Two surveys predicted dire consequences if UK corporations do not take a stricter approach to wireless security, while a study by Federal Computer Week found that US government civilian and defense systems are "exceedingly vulnerable" to hacking since they introduce wireless networking, since much data on these links is unencrypted or access points are inadequately protected.
All this is creating something of a resurgence of the security panics that plagued corporate WLAN adoption last year, and which equipment makers had hoped would be lulled by the appearance of the WPA interim security standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance, and the recent ratification of the full blown IEEE 802.11i specification, which supports features such as AES authentication.
News source: The Register