5. Managing Security
Maintaining security in a wireless LAN environment is somewhat different from a
wired network, because the radio waves do not stop at your office walls.
Eavesdropping or unauthorized access from outside your building can be a serious
There are three types of activities involved:
Protecting your data while it is transferred from one station to another.
Encryption techniques will be necessary in most environments (Data
Control who can make use of the wireless network (Access Control).
Protecting your network configuration against tampering from both inside
and outside your organization (Secure Management).
An Access Point supports two different data privacy algorithms: unencrypted data;
standardised IEEE 802.11b WEP (based on a 64 bit shared key).
The IEEE 802.11b standard allows for Access Control rules based on the client
station hardware address, and is fully implemented by the Access point.
The primary protection against tampering for any SNMP agent is the Write
Community String (WCS), which functions as a password for network
management commands. The WCS is send over your network in plain text,
making it vulnerable to eavesdropping from within your organization. The WCS is
never sent over the radio, however.
If you want, you can lock your Access Points. After being locked they can no
longer be managed over SNMP. Press the pinhole Reset switch on the back-panel
of the Access Point to unlock the Access Point.