Best of 2006: Wireless security

Wireless networking has come a long way in the past few years and, with the majority of new notebooks containing wireless cards, has become a popular and convenient way to get access to networks. While most of it is good news, particularly as wireless provides an easy way to extend the network without having to run new cables, it does bring with it a host of security problems.

These are many and varied, but one of the biggest threats to the corporate network comes from rogue or unsecured wireless access points, as outsiders don't even need to physically plug into the network.

Instead, they can sit safely outside and connect. With the wireless access points behind the firewall, the hacker has just skipped your first line of defense and now has free rein of your network.

Rogue access points are an even bigger problem than your own insecure wireless as they let the same thing happen but, as you haven't authorized them, you might be unaware of the threat. Even if you find out about it, you've still got to track the access point down and disable it.

With the problem getting worse, the market has responded with a fast expanding range of products designed to protect your network from these threats.

BlueSocket BSC2100 
Vendor: BlueSocket
Verdict: Excellent wireless LAN protection that integrates with your existing security.

InCharge RF Manager Server 
Vendor: Colubris Networks 
Verdict: Protects your network against unsecured and rogue access points.

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