Security Methods for Wireless Access Points

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There are various methods to increase the security on your wireless access points:

  • Implement some form of user authentication.
  • Implement a security protocol that requires over-the-air data encryption.
  • Update firmware on the device to implement any manufacturer security patches and enhancements.
  • Restrict unauthorized devices from connecting to the WAP by filtering out unauthorized MAC addresses.
  • Disable DHCP on the WAP and use static IP addressing instead.
  • Implement a firewall. For a small office or home office, enable a firewall on the WAP, and then also on the host computer to further secure your network.
  • Change the default user name and password for the WAP.
  • Protect the SSID by changing it from the default setting or by disabling SSID broadcasts.
  • And, configure vendor-recommended security settings on your wireless router or access point.

MAC Filtering

MAC address filtering provides a simple method of securing a wireless network. By configuring a Wireless Access Point to filter MAC addresses, you can control which wireless clients may join your network. Typically, an administrator configures a list of client MAC addresses that are allowed to join the network. Those preapproved clients are granted access if the MAC address is “known” by the access point. While MAC filtering is usually implemented on wireless networks, it can also be used on wired networks.

DHCP Settings

DHCP settings must be configured properly for your wireless network in order to avoid providing valid IP addresses to outside parties. By using static addressing on your Wireless Access Point, you can restrict access to specified addresses only.

Firmware Updates for Wireless Routers

Some wireless routers have firmware that can be updated to include the latest security features and enhancements released by manufacturers.

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