Companies across the globe are going wireless. However, as wireless networks gain more popularity in the technological world, companies that provide data storage and network security consulting still prefer wired networks. While there are several reasons for the preference, network security is perhaps the most important.
This article explains the four main security advantages wired networks have over wireless networks:
No Physical Security Layer
To start, most companies recognize that network security has layers. While it is true that layers do not necessarily make it impossible for attackers to compromise a network, they do make attacks extremely difficult. When attacks take more time than they are worth, attackers move on to easier targets. Thus, data protection and security become achievable feats for any company.
Unlike the wireless network, wired networks provide huge barriers to a would-be attacker. Wireless networks are mostly omni-directional. Hence, encryption is all that keeps them private. For any attacker to successfully compromise a wired network, he/she must plug in to it. If you have well-controlled building access, you have a significant physical barrier from attackers that wireless networks cannot match.
Tremendous amounts of broadcast information are obtainable from wireless networks. It doesn’t even require compromising the network or otherwise cracking passwords to achieve this. For example, the MAC addresses of the clients and Access Points are easily viewable. Other vulnerable information includes the quantity of frames received or sent, the SSIDs located in the client probes, etc. If an attacker associates a MAC with a particular person, they can match the time the employee is in a building with the time and amount of data they received or sent.
Additionally, wireless networks are exposed. Thus, an attacker may record wireless transmissions for future break-in attempts. This method is nearly limitless. Discovering a WPA-PSK password can enable an attacker to decrypt wireless communications and compromise all clients. RADIUS is more secure as an attacker can only compromise one client at a time. However, the threat remains.
Wireless networks are susceptible to de-authentication attacks, which force clients to disconnect. Again, this doesn’t require compromising the network. Instead, attackers design a hole specifically into the 802.11 quality. Furthermore, attackers can set these attacks to initiate on demand, as scheduled, or endlessly. As a result, the clients are constantly reconnecting and productivity plummets.
At any point you may find it necessary to revoke a user’s access to a network for security reasons. With wired networks, doing so effectively only requires removal of access from the premises. On the other hand, wireless access requires a longer process plus a delay before the revocation takes effect. With WPA-PSK, revoking the access of one user to one network requires the revocation of access to all networks, if not permanent, by altering the password. But with RADIUS, you’re able to revoke access on a per user basis.
When is comes to network security, wireless networks have vulnerabilities that wired networks don’t. However, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a network. Logical Front can help your company get the right network and security for your needs.