With every new technological development, comes its own weaknesses. In 2017, nearly everyone is using a wireless connection to access their internet, but at the same time, we hardly ever consider the security vulnerabilities of our network. While a wireless connection certain frees up employees to freely move around their office with their devices, by cutting the wires, we’re also putting our network security at risk. For those of you who live by the philosophy of “It’ll never happen to me…”, you may want to check up on these top wireless network concerns.
Rogue Access Points
This is a biggie. Unknown and unmanaged devices inside of a wireless network leave your business incredibly exposed. They provide easy ways in for malware and easy ways out for sensitive information. One of the first steps to take when addressing these vulnerabilities, is to enforce no-wireless zones, to make sure that AP’s don’t appear where they’re not allowed. Some organizations react to this vulnerability by prohibiting wireless access at all. In some sensitive fields, such as the military or government that may make sense, but for others, there are more sensitive ways to go about it. Even after you put policies and tools in place to monitor access points, significant management will still be necessary.
Denial of Service
Wireless networks are especially open to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Since everyone shares the same frequencies, competition for the same bandwidth is almost unavoidable in highly populated areas. Modern access points have a feature to auto-adjust channels to bypass any sort of interference. To prevent any nasty DoS attack methods, you should look for the newest products that support management frame protection.
Dummy Access Points
Dummy Access Points can easily provide the same network name as a legitimate and verified hotspot of wireless network, resulting in nearby wireless clients to connect to them. While this isn’t necessarily new, simpler hacking tools have made them much more common. As soon as wireless clients connect, DHCP and DNS are used to route client traffic through the dummy AP, where fake mail and file servers execute “man in the middle” attacks. The best protection against these dummies is server authentication and validation.
Aside from the “man in the middle” attacks, as discussed above, attackers have continued to develop new methods for phishing unsuspecting wireless users. As an example, it’s entirely possible to “poison” wireless web browser caches, so that a hacker, can get in the middle of a past web session by using a a dummy AP or an exposed hot-spot. Once poisoned, the wireless user will be directed to phishing websites long after they’ve left the dummy hotspot or access point.