The Access Point will allow multiple Wireless
clients to communicate with each other and
to systems connected via network cables on a LAN:
Although most Access Points are shipped with a default
configuration allowing easy
connection of wireless clients, either either minimal or sometime
no need for configuring
the Access Point, it is highly recommended to become familiar
with the setup, especially
the security features, of the Access -Point, to avoid unwanted
"Guests" to connect via
the WLAN to your network.
The following example
shows a Belkin Access-Point (F5D7130), but other
have similar configurations (to be able to comply to the
world-wide standard for 802.11b/g ).
Most Access-Points have a build-in webserver, allowing you to
connect via a web browser ,
( for details on your access-point ,
please view the User Manual of your access point ):
to be able to make changes, a login is required :
security risk#1 :
the device is shipped without a password.
You need to assign later a password
to ensure, that nobody can connect via the WLAN
from the outside and change the settings.
when having multiple Access-Point , there needs to be a method to
define on the clients,
to which access point to connect.
Therefore each WLAN network uses a SSID: a Wireless network name.
For easy connection
of WLAN clients, most access-points can be configured to
broadcast this SSID, to allow
clients to scan for available WLAN networks.
Security risk #2:
the default SSID names
you need to change the SSID to a
name unique used only by you
Security risk #3 :
the broadcast of the SSID
if the SSID is broadcasted,
everybody (including unwanted "guests" will be able to
your WLAN, giving already away the presence of your WLAN.
for private usage, the following next steps may be sufficient to
secure the WLAN network,
but for security-sensitive company networks you should disable
the broadcast of the SSID.
To make your WLAN secure,
you can and should define encryption of
the wireless data.
Security risk#4 :
default configuration of Access-point with disabled security
change the security to one of the
WEP Encryption levels :
and define a security code, which you will also need to enter on
all WLAN clients,
which are allowed to connect to this access point :
for maximum security, you can also define a list of clients,
which are allowed to connect,
by entering the MAC = hardware network address of the WLAN network card.
of a PC-Card configuration / connection to the Access-Point
You need to change the settings of your Access-Point to secure your WLAN network.