This essay discusses basic approaches and mechanisms for security.
A typical home wireless network uses a wireless router to provided wire free connectivity to the Internet users. Many wireless routers comes with built-in modem which is used to connect to the ISP, while others require a manual connection to a separate modem, often provided by an ISP. There are several steps which can be taking to secure a wireless network (Ferris, Briere and Hurley). The first and most basic step is to lock the wireless router with a username and password. The locking down of the router prevents anyone from changing the security setting of the router or even locking out the owner. All routers have default password, which are set by their manufacturers, and are known by most attackers, hence they need to be changed as soon as possible. One can also limit the number of user that are allowed simultaneously on the network, while the DHCP server can also be configured to assign IP addresses from a different range rather than a default one, so that an attacker may be trouble finding the router’s IP address on the network (Habraken).
A home wireless network also needs to be protected from eavesdropping attack. For this purpose, almost all routers come equipped with personal security models, which are used to encrypt transmissions as well as to authenticate the users before allowing them on the network. The most commonly used personal security models are Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) (Ferris, Briere and Hurley). WPA and its latest version WPA2 use a combination of encryption algorithms and shared keys to secure the wireless transmission as well as to control the admission of the users (Wright). Furthermore, Network Address Translations (NAT) can be used to hide the IP address of the home network from external devices. Hence, an attacker would not have any information on the implementation and configuration of the home wireless network, hence it would be impossible to carry out any attack.
For users who run an Internet service, such as web server hosting their website, it is important to realize the fact that any user gaining access to the web server may also compromise all devices on the network is care is not take. For this purpose, computers or devices running such services should be placed in the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ). A DMZ creates a network that sits separately from the rest of the devices present on the network; hence any user gaining access to a device or a computer present in the DMZ will not be able to gain access to the other parts of wireless home network.
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