Secure Wireless Networks For Everyday Living: NCI

By Dan Cybulskie, Senior Security Consultant with NCI Secured Intelligence

Speak with anyone who really knows me and they will tell you that I have a passion for wireless technology. You can present me with any wired-network problem and I’ll usually tell you a bunch of ways you could do it better, and more easily, wirelessly. If I can’t figure out how a wireless network can do something better than a wired one, I can usually still tell you how a wireless solution can enhance what you’ve already deployed. That’s just me.

This leads to the obvious question: why all the passion for wireless technology, Dan? The honest truth is that people have got me all wrong. I couldn’t really care less about wireless technology. You’ll never catching me cozying up on the sofa to read a good RF mathematics book, or scheduling a weekend to lose myself in encryption theory, just for the fun of it. That’s just focusing on technology for technology’s sake. What you will catch me doing is exploring new uses for wireless technology, and seeing how it might be used to solve modern work, home, or social dilemmas. This is because I am passionate about what wireless networking can do to enhance and contribute to our business and personal lives.

WLANs are deployed in homes, hospitals, schools, law enforcement agencies, and just about anywhere else imaginable. They offer a level of security and usability, out-of-box, that is actually superior to that of a wired network. Find me one wired network that offers all these features by default:

  • Network Access Control (NAC)
  • Data Encryption
  • Mobility/Roaming

My guess is you can’t. Sure there are NAC solution that can be deployed for wired networks but wireless networks were designed with NAC built-in. Yes, you can deploy add-on solutions to encrypt data travelling across the wire but wireless networks we designed with encryption built-in. Of course, you can roam around and experience real mobility on a wired network but – oh, wait! You can’t!

It is the ability of wireless networks to provide secure access to data, regardless of where you happen to be sitting, that gets me excited. How can we look at a technology like this and not be excited about the potential for improved productivity and connectedness? Laptops, iPods, wifi-enabled smartphones, and even the new iPad, all take advantage of this technology to provide us with the opportunity to move away from the desk and be more social. Connect from the couch, at the coffee shop, from the hospital, or from a park bench. It doesn’t really matter where you are or what the occasion is. If you have a wifi-enabled device there is a good chance that you will be able to share and contribute in a much more meaningful and immediate way than we have in the past. That’s exciting; almost as exciting as knowing that data you send and receive can be kept secure and confidential while you’re going about living your new untethered lifestyle.

Thinking of deploying a wireless network? Wondering how wireless technology can be used to improve your unique situation? Drop me an email and let’s discuss your options [email protected].

About NCI

Dan Cybulskie is a Senior Security Consultant with NCI – Canada’s premier full service provider of Security, Networking and Digital Forensics consulting and solutions, with major public and private sector clients around the world. NCI provides PCI DSS compliance (we are a QSA and ASV), IT Security, Privacy, and Building Security consulting. Our experienced team of certified experts, dedicated to clients’ needs, has resulted in a 98% client retention rate. NCI has offices in London ON, Mississauga, and Montr´┐Żal. www.nci.ca.