Your Guide to Detecting and Identifying Rogue Access Points

Your Guide to Detecting and Identifying Rogue Access Points

Mobility sure has its perks in the world of business, but wireless connectivity in the workplace can also prove to be quite a security hazard as well. Today it’s common practice for businesses to authorize all devices and access points on the corporate network, but that’s not always the case. Failing to adhere to this practice opens up many security back doors and allows room for ‘rogue access points’ to infiltrate a network.  In many urban areas, most access points will usually end up belonging to neighboring businesses, stores, or metro-area wireless networks, but while they may seem innocuous, connecting to them (intentionally or accidentally) can bypass any security policies you may have in place. Even worse, you may find out that an access point was planted malicious by a cyber-criminal.

Below we’ve rounded up a list of the best practices for identifying and detecting any nearby rogue access points. Take a look below!

Use a Network Performance Monitoring Solution

A network performance monitoring too can help you identify any rogue access points by scanning wireless controllers and devices. These tools can support monitoring both thin and thick access points, as well as their associated clients. With an NPM solution, network teams can easily monitor network flows and bottlenecks.

Looking for a good NPM solution? Be sure to check out our NPM Buyer’s Guide

Install Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems

It’s common practice to install intrusion prevention systems to help monitor the radio spectrum for unauthorized access points. A wireless intrusion prevention system eases the task of auditing unauthorized access points

Establish a Strong Policy

It’s absolutely critical that all employees familiarize themselves with company policy surrounding which access points can be connected to. There are a number of problems associated with allowing end users to add wireless devices to the network without having approval first. Of these problems are the failure to employ proper security measures and the added trouble associated with maintaining the company’s wireless network infrastructure.

Find a Dedicated Tool

There are countless tools on the market dedicated to finding and identifying any rogue access points on your network. NetStumbler is often recommended for the job, although it only works for Windows clients and provides a limited amount of information on the access points. Another solution is Kismet which relies on wireless NIC’s ability to report raw packets.

wireless guide coverFor information on the top 802.11ac solutions, check out our latest Buyer’s Guide:

  • Easy, side-by-side comparison of the top 802.11ac wireless vendors
  • Descriptions of each solution and their strengths
  • Important questions to ask yourself and potential vendors when considering a solution
  • Market overview of the current 802.11ac wireless space
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Doug Atkinson

President at Solutions Review
An entrepreneur and executive with a passion for enterprise technology, Doug founded Solutions Review in 2012. He has previously served as a newspaper boy, a McDonald's grill cook, a bartender, a political consultant, a web developer, the VP of Sales for e-Dialog - a digital marketing agency - and as Special Assistant to Governor William Weld of Massachusetts.
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