Modern organizations understand that providing safe and reliable Wi-Fi is now a basic requirement for serving customers and doing business. So why do so many companies struggle with the “safe” part of Wi-Fi? The rapid proliferation of wireless networks in recent years has made it easier for cyber criminals to successfully intercept, peruse and steal data using rogue or unauthorized devices.
Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS) are a common wireless network security solution used to defend Wi-Fi networks against unauthorized devices, rogue access points (APs), and other threats. WIPS solutions are meant to defend airspace through detection, classification and prevention. Here’s where things get interesting.
Most WIPS out there can’t accurately classify connected devices and APs. Discovery and prevention of wireless connections in a given airspace is generally easy to do – as is identifying authorized connections. The missing puzzle piece for most WIPS is the ability to accurately distinguish between truly malicious devices or APs and neighboring (external) devices or APs in the airspace.
Without foolproof classification of connected devices and APs as either authorized, external or rogue, businesses run the risk of inadvertently shutting down innocuous neighboring devices or APs – a mistake that can result in damaged reputations and legal consequences. In fact, many companies actually downgrade their WIPS solutions to a simple wireless intrusion detection system (WIDS) to mitigate these risks. With detection as their primary function and the prevention aspect of the system turned off, most WIPS solutions can’t actually “prevent” anything or take any kind of automated action against malicious devices or APs.
Without 100% confidence in their WIPS solution’s ability to differentiate between genuinely rogue and neighboring devices or APs, businesses have to rely on manual classification of each connection in the airspace – a time-consuming and risky proposition.
For more information on unlocking the power of WIPS, read Classification – The Critical Missing Aspect of WIPS.
Visit https://www.watchguard.com/wifi to check out WatchGuard’s family of Secure Wi-Fi solutions.
Gino Gori says
This is so true!