Wi-Fi is boost, not bane, to secure networks - Intel

Wednesday, 11 June 2003, 2:24 PM EST

High-speed wireless computer networks, or Wi-Fi, are notoriously vulnerable to unauthorized intrusion, but that may actually help to sell companies on the need to embrace the technology.

That counter-intuitive logic, put forth by a leading promoter of the technology, reflects a trend at many companies where employees are taking part in the Wi-Fi computing craze whether their employers are ready or not.

Intel Corp.'s Chief Financial Officer Andy Bryant said his company had found that the security offered by a "controlled wireless network" was superior to computer security regimes that traditionally have blocked wireless access as a threat.

"We found that as long as we kept saying 'No,' the number of unsecure networks increased inside our company," Bryant told investors at the annual Bear Stearns technology conference in New York on Tuesday.

Wi-Fi Internet connections allow computer users to search the airwaves for nearby access points, making Internet connections potentially much easier, but multiplying the risk of unauthorized access to office networks not fully secured.

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