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Tips for securing wireless networks in the IoT era

By Ashton Young, Wed 3 Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Look up digital disruption in the dictionary and it’s likely you’ll see the Internet of Things (IoT) sitting there proudly as an example.

Organisations must make strategic changes to effecvtively secure wired and wireless LANs while supporting business applications for use on mobile and desktop devices alike. What does this mean? According to Wavelink, it’s all about a ‘mobile-first’ mentality.

“IT organisations face constant change, which only seems to be speeding up with technology transformations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), anything-as-a-service (XaaS), and artificial intelligence,” says Ilan Rubin, Wavelink managing director. “Security has always been important but it has become more complicated to secure wireless networks in the face of these new technologies. “Deploying ad hoc security is no longer good enough; enterprise networks need a secure access architecture for end-to-end protection.”

According to Rubin, there are three key steps IT teams should follow to improve security:

1. Review access layer security

The addition of IoT devices introduces all new security challenges, with unsecured wireless devices being connected to networks. The burden is on the network to keep these devices secure and prevent hacking from cybercriminals.

2. Consider new access layer defence strategies

While most organisations do already have basic defences in place, many lack intrusion prevention and application control to provide maximum protection. Technologically, companies should have multiple layers of defence – like internal network segmentation, wireless intrusion protection and next-generation firewalls – which makes it difficult for attackers to spread widely across the network.

3. Select a secure WLAN solution

The security solution that organisations choose should include an integrated wireless solution where control and security are combined in a single portfolio.

“Companies should look for the most flexible WLAN options to mix and match deployment models for different use cases, locations, and IT resources,” Rubin says. “The solution you choose needs to match your network and organisational structure, delivering the functionality and access you need without sacrificing protection. An integrated, end-to-end solution is more secure, scalable, and cost-effective than piecemeal solutions.”

On top of that, Rubin affirms that IT administrators need a ‘single pane of glass view’ now more than ever, which will simplify the deployment and management of enterprise networks, applications and devices.

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