Wireless Network Security: Safeguarding the Data Transmission

Companies across sectors, machines, and most importantly individuals have become dependent on uninterrupted internet connectivity for performing a range of operations on a daily basis. Data transmission is skyrocketing with the rising access to cheaper and more efficient digital devices and wireless connectivity solutions.

As of January 2023, there are over five billion internet users all across the world. These users, combined together, are generating billions of gigabytes of data on a regular basis.Most of the data exchange is done through wireless networks andrequires a security mechanism installed for securing every exchange, owing to rising cybersecurity threats.

About Wireless Network Connectivity

A wireless network is a computer network that uses wireless connectivity means to exchange data between network nodes. Wireless networks are reliant on radio waves or microwaves for wireless communication/information transfer between digital devices.

The most common type of wireless networks includes Wireless Local Area Networks (Wireless LAN), Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (Wireless MAN), Wireless Personal Area Networks (Wireless PAN), and Wireless Wide Area Networks (Wireless WAN). These wireless networks differ based on their network coverage area, data transfer speed, and applications, among other factors.

Why Wireless Network Security is a Must?

The rising cybersecurity threats and network hackings worldwide have increased the importance of wireless network security solutions across global industries. Black hat hackers break into an organization’s computer networks and security protocols, spreading malware, stealing or modifying data, and even destroying it.

The lack of a physical barrier makes wireless networks vulnerable to various types of unlawful interception to a variety of cyber threats. The adoption of wireless network security or wireless security measures enables the prevention of unwanted access to computer systems or data exchange that is taking place over wireless connections.

Wireless Network Security mechanisms are aiding corporations, private users, and government offices in establishing securing communication and exchange of information between two or more parties. Thereby, saving millions and even billions of dollars and strengthening their reputation.

Network breaches can cause financial as well as reputation losses in the market. The wireless network security follows the encryption technology for data transmission, owing to which even if a hacker gains access, accession information contained within the exchange cannot be possible.

Ideal Practices for Ensuring Wireless Network Security

As the importance of 24/7 internet connectivity is growing, commercial and residential users are relying on wireless connectivity solutions such as Wi-Fi and high-speed cellular networks. These are aiding in stable connectivity and speedy transmission of data. However, the growing cybersecurity threats are concerning, owing to which wireless users require to follow some measures to protect their data transmission.

Strong Password: First of all default password and username of the wireless network should be changed. Second, any unnecessary services that came with the router/modem should be disabled. And lastly, but most importantly, a strong password should be created using numerics, alphabets, and symbols, making it difficult for hackers to hack into. The use of sequenced numbering (123), own/company name, and date should be avoided to generate a strong password.

Network Data Encryption: Encryption of communication is an age-old method. It has proven benefits in protecting today’s data transmission. In encryption, the data is scrambled and its decryption can only be done by authorized users. Only those for whom the message is intended can read data, this means even if hackers get access to data they cannot read it owing to encryption.

Multi-factor Authentication:Implementingmulti-factor authentication provides additional levels of security. Any individual who wishes to access the system needs to go through several authentication steps to validate their identity before gaining entry. Along with entering user credentials, a person requires to provide a code that is sent by the system on a mobile number or email ID. Even biometrics use can be done for authentication with the help of fingerprints and face unlocks.

Restricting SSID Broadcast: The active Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcast allows individuals to know available wireless network names when they are within the range. Once it is disabled through the configuration menu, it becomes harder for miscreants to know the existence of that specific wireless network even if they are within close range. It could be still visible to those who are in range and use network scanning applications, but disabling SSID broadcast will make it difficult for them to access the network.

Activating WPA3 Security: Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 is the latest version of the network security certificate program developed and introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It was launched in January 2018 replacing WPA2 which had been in use since 2004. It is the most secure wireless network protocol and should be used wherever and whenever possible, to strengthen private or personal networks.

Installing Firewall: The installation of the firewall on wireless devices as well as on the network (router/modem firewall) can prevent network access from unauthorized users. Malware attacks and the installation of any malicious software could be prevented with the installation of strong firewall solutions.

Key Providers of Wireless Network Security

Some of the key providers of wireless network security solutions are Juniper Networks, Inc.; Bosch Sicherheitssysteme GmbH (Robert Bosch GmbH);Honeywell International Inc.; Cisco Systems, Inc.;COMMSCOPE; Fortinet, Inc.; Symantec Corporation (Broadcom); Sophos Ltd.; Aruba Networks (Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP); ADT; Extreme Networks; and Motorola Solutions, Inc., among others.

Cyber crimes are growing and evolving with the rising digital business and commerce. A recent study estimated the losses due to cybercrime’sdamage are likely to reach 10.5 trillion USD by 2025. The growing network intrusion, data stealing, malware attack, reputational harm, and embezzlement, among others, are concerning companies and private users about their network security.

The budget for cybersecurity is rising across enterprises to create robust network protection measures. Wireless security solution providers with technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI) are offering real-time network security tracking solutions and providing alerts to prevent illegal access. With these trends and opportunities, the wireless network security market is projected to rise to over 57 billion USD at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% in the coming years.

Alexandra Lewis

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