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Building Cybersecurity into Your Business with Secure Wireless Design and Implementation

Although there are many aspects of cybersecurity that involve applying improvements to existing networks and infrastructures, it is also possible – and often preferable – to establish highly secure systems from “the bottom up.” And in terms of a significant first step towards proactive protection, few measures can compare to a well-designed and secure wireless network design.

When you’re considering how to secure a wireless network (WLAN), your options are numerous and diverse. Ideally, your wireless design will utilize a tailored combination of these features and functions, providing a well-organized strategy versus a patchwork of security measures.

Let’s take a closer look at how your organization can ensure that your wireless network design meets your security needs.

Begin with a Practical Plan

Today’s wireless technology allows for an outstanding amount of flexibility – and yet, many organizations end up settling for solutions that are merely “good enough.” However, a higher-quality outcome can be achieved through careful planning.

This means assessing important factors such as:

  • The present state of your network
  • Both the current and expected demands for your network
  • Your organizational budget
  • Physical placement of access points for consistent coverage with minimal cost
  • Security concerns and risk tolerance
  • Compliance regulations/frameworks

With this information, it is far easier to develop a successful and secure wireless network that seamlessly suits your organization.

Then, Develop a Security-Centric Design

When you select a professional partner in wireless design and implementation, it is critical that the provider possesses a thorough understanding of the latest wireless technology and network infrastructure as a whole.

The best wireless design service is one that delivers a comprehensive solution that includes design, implementation, and ongoing support. But beyond that, the design must also be based on modern cybersecurity principles.

In order to achieve optimal results, consider these essentials for secure wireless architecture: integrity, confidentiality, and availability.

Integrity

In wireless communications security, the concept of integrity is founded in the necessity of valid, trustworthy data. As such, it is directly linked to a practice of verifying the authenticity of each entity within the network (users, devices, servers, and/or controllers).

Examples of ways to establish integrity in wireless network design include:

  • Constructing a trusted infrastructure that detects rogue APs and only adopts/provisions known APs
  • Proving a server’s identity via authenticating it to an endpoint or vice versa
  • Utilizing mechanisms that prohibit device spoofing
  • Build in protected management frames (PMF) between infrastructure and endpoints
  • Establish access/management processes that prevent tampering

Confidentiality

Because cybercriminals can access your organization’s most sensitive data via a wireless network, safeguarding all data and systems is imperative. Encryption and secure mutual authentication are the primary means by which to achieve this, though it is also incredibly important to constantly update your protocol to meet constantly changing compliance requirements.

Confidentiality in a wireless network design can look like:

  • Requiring secure authentication to access sensitive resources
  • Segmenting networks properly
  • Encrypting user traffic between an AP and gateway/controller

Availability

Finally, availability (or how you ensure that the system/data is available to devices and users that need it) is crucial for both security and performance. Uptime can often be used as a good marker of availability, and the concept will also be influenced by your organization’s requirements.

In wireless network architecture, availability can take various forms, such as:

  • Detection/mitigation for potential DoS attacks
  • Satisfactory wireless RF design for signal quality and coverage
  • Appropriate cable connections/power supplies for any wired infrastructure
  • Security and segmentation controls that permit access as needed

Design, Implement, and Maintain a Secure Wireless Design

For most organizations, network performance is a top priority. However, the value of a sound security strategy cannot be overstated. An improperly secured network is akin to leaving the doors of your business unlocked at night – it’s a mistake you simply can’t risk making.

Working with a trusted provider of wireless network design services is your best bet for achieving key business and security objectives.

For more information about this important topic, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Vladimir

Meet the Author
Vlad Pivtorak is Quest's Director of Infrastructure Services.
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