Network Security And Cryptography For Wireless Networks
Nowadays, organisations regard having security measures as an invaluable part of their day-to-day operations. And it’s said that many would have at least one security feature set up, which may come in the form of restricted member access and other measures.
Today, institutions face unwavering challenges in ensuring that their digital systems are well guarded 24/7 against potential hackings and other forms of attacks. One critical aspect of a company’s digital infrastructure that needs the best protection measures available is its wireless networks.
Fortunately, there are a variety of network security policies and cryptography strategies aimed at providing protection to different wireless network setups. But what does network security and cryptography mean for wireless networks? Continue reading this article to learn more.
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Network security and cryptography explained
Network security is the concept of protecting a network from external and internal threats, such as malware, denial-of-service attacks and other security threats. It involves a number of methods that can help protect a network, and cryptography is one of them. (1)
Cryptography is a practice where only the sender and intended receiver are given exclusive access to a certain document, feature or message. For example, by employing cryptography methodologies, you can send your monthly financial report to your employees via a communication channel, and they’re the only individuals who’ll be able to view its contents. (2)
Is there any merit to focusing on network security rather than improving your overall data security? Each one plays a crucial role in ensuring company security. Hence, one improvement should work in conjunction with the other.
Importance of security and cryptography for wireless networks
When you improve your data security, you’re also most likely to enhance the security of your wireless network. For instance, by installing an anti-virus software program or firewall into your system, you can reduce the possibility of hackers getting into your network. But while that may be the case, these measures are oftentimes believed to be not enough to completely protect your wireless network from an array of external and internal threats. (1)
Since their debut to the world, wireless networks have been known to be highly insecure and vulnerable to unauthorised access. However, there are steps you can do to compensate for its high vulnerability to beef up your security.
Standard network security and cryptography protocols
Due to their inherent nature, wireless networks are believed to require a lot more effort to adequately secure them. This has driven experts to develop protocols designed specifically for addressing security woes that are plaguing many wireless networks.
Today, you can use any of the following network security and cryptography protocols to protect your wireless network system:
Wired equivalent privacy
Wired equivalent privacy (WEP) was developed in 1999, making it the first-ever wireless network security protocol to see the light of day. The protocol slightly improved the security of wireless networks, but people didn’t use it for long as they found that it’s not as secure as people initially thought it to be. (3)
Wi-Fi protected access
The Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) protocol is the industry’s answer to WEP’s lack of security. It was developed in 2003 and used 256-bit encryption technology, which is a significant improvement to WEP’s 64-bit and 128-bit encryption. It works best for home networks but may also work in business environments as long as a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service server is deployed in the vicinity. (3)
Wi-Fi protected access 2
Many people view WPA2 as an upgraded version of its predecessor, yet there’s not much difference between the two. Perhaps the only difference is WPA2’s Advanced Encryption Standard, an encryption technology with much higher performance and which provides better security. Nevertheless, WPA’s security flaws still persist in this protocol. (3)
Wi-Fi protected access 3
WPA3 is the latest addition to the WPA series of security protocols. Aside from a few improvements here and there, the WPA3 protocol allows the user to automatically encrypt the connection between two devices without any input from either party. (3)
Indeed, each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages. So it may be worth your time to take it slowly while you decide which of these protocols suits your organisation best and will provide you optimal results. You can work with your in-house network support team or a third-party company to help you select and set up the security protocol that’s appropriate for your business.
Wireless networks security and encryption are said to have always been a difficult feat to achieve. In fact, compared to other components of a system, the wireless network is arguably the hardest to secure. Nevertheless, with the above-mentioned security protocols, it should be possible to secure your network adequately.
But apart from these protocols, you can also engage in other practices to further secure your wireless network. Simple steps like installing a firewall and patching up existing software can go a long way in improving your wireless network security.
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- “What is Network Security?”, Source: https://www.forcepoint.com/cyber-edu/network-security
- “What is cryptography? How algorithms keep information secret and safe”, Source: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3583976/what-is-cryptography-how-algorithms-keep-information-secret-and-safe.html
- “WEP vs. WPA vs. WPA2 vs. WPA3”, Source: https://community.fs.com/blog/wep-vs-wpa-vs-wpa2-vs-wpa3.html