Wireless Network Security and Its Impact on Your Data

August 16, 2012 | Comments

Network security is an important consideration for anyone who has responsibility for the networks installed in the home. It is not enough to simply leave equipment on its default settings and hope for the best, as this can leave the networks — and the hardware and data connected to them — exposed to malicious and potentially destructive attacks.

Attackers will often search for networks that have been poorly secured. The likelihood that potential attackers will attempt an attack on a network can be decreased by relying on a qualified, experienced home networking professional who will abide by network security best practices. In some cases, a trained pro can prevent attackers from even knowing the network exists.

Ease of Connectivity

One of the primary benefits of wireless networking is the ease and convenience of connecting devices. This is also one of its biggest pitfalls. In most cases, as soon as the integrated router or access point is connected to the modem, the wireless clients within range will immediately request and be granted connectivity, both internally and to the Internet. Unfortunately, that ease of connectivity and the fact that information is transmitted through the air makes the network vulnerable to interception and attacks.

With wireless connectivity, the attacker does not need a physical connection to a computer or any of the network devices to access the network. The attacker can access the network from any location within transmission range. Once an attacker gains access to the network, they can piggyback onto Internet services, access computers on the network to damage files, or steal personal and private information.

These vulnerabilities in wireless networking require manual configuration of built-in security features designed to help protect the wireless network from attacks. Many of these procedures are simple steps that should be performed during initial setup of the wireless device, as well as more advanced security configurations. Your local CEDIA member home technology professional can design and implement many of these procedures and create a robust and secure network in home.