The first step toward safe wireless networking is assessing the situation and determining just how vulnerable you are.
I’m not just talking about your Wi-Fi hardware.
You have to consider and examine all the elements of your network.
That includes client computers, software, network hardware, and even users.
Risk analysis is always a good place to start.
After all, you can’t defend yourself against something if you don’t even know that it’s threatened.
WLAN Risk Analysis
A simplified risk analysis for a small network consists of the following steps –
1. Identify hardware and software assets.
2. Determine the value of each asset and cost of replacement.
3. Identify the threats to each asset.
4. Determine the vulnerability to threats.
Note : Remember to keep this analysis simple. The goal is simply to get a handle on where you actually stand with regards to WLAN security.
For your first task, you need to identify all the assets on the WLAN.
Make a list of your hardware, operating systems, and software.
The hardware should include computers, access points, routers, wireless NICs, and anything else that connects to your WLAN.
Note the manufacturer and model for your entire hardware and firmware version (if known) along with a rough cost estimate for each asset.
Next, make a list of software.
This might include operating systems, personal firewalls, and antivirus software.
For your purposes, you don’t need to check every application on all your computers even though it is good to keep your software patched and up-to-date.
You just need to know the operating system and any network software you might be running, along with the approximate cost of each piece.
You will learn about the threats that are particular to a WLAN.
With this information, you will be able to determine your vulnerability to those threats.
Once you have a realistic picture of how vulnerable you are, I’ll show you how to take the information you have compiled about your hardware and software and use it to secure your network.