People use wireless networks on a daily basis and are growing concerned about the possible threats. What advice would you give to mobile users so that they could make and keep their laptops secure on any network?
1. 'Don't set up rogue access points'.
This is where an access point (AP) has been installed by an employee onto the enterprise network without authorisation. This is not a malicious act, usually one bourne out of frustration at an internal policy that says 'no wireless'. The problem is that these rogue APs are unsecured and as such act as a huge security breach into the corporate network.
2. Don't use unsecured networks
This might seem obvious, but to some it isn't. There are so many WiFi networks out there today - from hotel rooms to coffee bars - that knowing what is secure and what isn't can be tricky. Most public wireless networks are secured and require a passcode or log-in. But if these are available, especially for home workers, it's tempting to log in to the nearest available one, such as a neighbour's. Apart from using someone else's bandwidth, it is potentially putting your company data or your personal data at risk. If someone is visiting the office of a supplier, partner or customer, check first that the wireless network there is secure or has what is known as Secure Guest Access. This provides the visitor with quick and simple WiFi access, while allowing the company to control - where, when and for how long - and report on that usage for compliance, legal and security reasons.
3. Be informed
Mobile workers should be guided by their corporate IT department clearly and simply as part of the company's IT security policy or guidance on mobile working. Many people's knowledge of wireless networks varies from knowing nothing about the security issues to full-blown paranoia fuelled by reports of the horrors of unsecured wireless LANs! If in doubt, ask.
With the constant evolution of threats, what kind of technology challenges does Bluesocket face?
In the wireless market more broadly, the big challenges are not so much about technology but about convergence. Today, most customer requests are about using voice over wireless networks.
What are your future plans? Any exciting new projects?
The most important innovation for Bluesocket this year is our MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology, an enterprise-class wireless access point. MIMO gives improved performance and coverage and is less influenced by hostile or constantly changing environments (both people and things move around in a working environment), which can be a problem for wireless networks. Our MIMO products, which are already 802.11 a and b/g complaint, can be upgraded to the new 802.11n standard simply and easily. This is exciting, as it makes MIMO the equivalent of an access point 'on steroids' - the most powerful on the market today!
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