According to a recently released survey by Fortinet, 9 out of 10 CIOs have concerns over insufficient wireless security. The findings come from an independent survey of over 1,490 IT decision makers at 250+ employee organizations around the world.
The survey goes on to note that "nearly half (49%) of respondents ranked wireless networks as most exposed from a security standpoint, in contrast to just 29% for the core network". In addition, 92% of CIOs saw wireless security as a general concern.
With all due respect to to the report, RESOLUTE Partners has to disagree that wireless is more vulnerable.
RESOLUTE's VP of Information Technology Frank DeMasi adds "Wireless itself, if setup properly, is no less secure than a local area wired network. It is when critical settings are not configured properly that wireless becomes insecure. The fear is that a person can be some distance from the network i.e. outside a building, but still have access to the signal to try and hack it. In a wired network, the person must have physical access in order to accomplish the same task and that scares a lot of IT people. However, if the wireless is properly secured, this is not really an issue as long as you integrate intrusion protection procedures and monitor who is trying to connect to your network."
Seasoned sales and engineering professional responsible for RESOLUTE's Federal Enterprise Network Solutions business Aaron Ezrilov adds "In the world of EMCS (Energy Management & Control Systems), the wireless component is the edge device or edge network, the attack or breach is more likely from the LAN side. It's far more likely that an operator or employee would open an attachment with a virus or algorithm, opening a backdoor to the network which could then scan for subnets and open ports."
DeMasi continues "The other concern with wireless security is the ability of an outside agent to interfere with the signals to incapacitate the network. On the device side, opening up wireless to unknown devices is really an issue. In the old days a company provided the PC and controlled what you could do. That control was expanded with the adoption of laptops and wireless. But using personal tablets and phones creates an issue the device manufacturers are trying to mitigate, many encrypt info and require specific access for the app’s on a wireless device. Wireless manufacturers are adding features to control the apps and data on these devices outside of the app, essentially providing tools around the network traffic itself, which is helpful. All in all, we have created more entry points into a network and potential risks that IT professionals need to stay ahead of."
We love to talk wireless security. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us here.