Networking

Warning over rogue wi-fi security risk

CIO Jury: Malicious wireless networks an increasing threat...

Rogue and insecure wi-fi access points are increasingly posing a threat to the security of corporate networks.

One of the main worries about wireless security is users unwittingly accessing insecure or malicious wireless networks when they are out of the office, according to a survey this week. And 10 out of the 12-strong silicon.com CIO Jury IT user panel agreed that wi-fi security is a major concern.

Gavin Whatrup, group IT director at marketing services company Creston, said his organisation has taken the decision not to install a wireless infrastructure until the security elements of wi-fi have matured.

He said: "While wi-fi will never be completely secure the options available to mitigate the risk continue to develop. Until this happens, and the price drops, we will bide our time."

The danger of employees connecting to rogue wi-fi networks is a serious concern, according to Christopher Linfoot, IT director at the LDV Group.

Wireless from A to Z

Click on the links below to find out more…

A is for Antivirus
B is for Bluetooth
C is for The Cloud
D is for dotMobi
E is for Email
F is for FMC
G is for GPS
H is for HSDPA
I is for i-mode
J is for Japan Air
K is for Korea
L is for LBS
M is for M2M
N is for NFC
O is for Operating systems
P is for Pubs
Q is for QoS
R is for Roaming
S is for Satellite
T is for TV
U is for UMTS
V is for Virgin
W is for WiMax
X is for XDA
Y is for Yucca
Z is for Zigbee

He said: "We can typically see up to three or four foreign wireless networks from some of our offices and these are often unsecured. We are planning a wireless overlay to our network to provide controlled wireless access and give visibility and a degree of control over rogue networks."

Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director at UK publisher Hachette Filipacchi, said his organisation does not have any wireless connectivity in the office due to a strict security policy but admitted there are potential issues as more people work remotely.

He said: "The fact that staff have laptops and PCs at home, generally connected wirelessly to their home ADSL connections, is an issue that we need to probe further but to-date we have taken comfort from our Cisco VPN software and the other corporate security provisions all doing their stuff when these users need to connect to our network."

Peter Birley, IT director at Midlands law firm Browne Jacobson, said wireless is just another network security issue: "They all require proactive policies and continual monitoring. Wireless just adds to that complexity."

Today's CIO Jury was...

Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director, Hachette Filipacchi UK
Peter Birley, IT director, Browne Jacobson
Paul Broome, CTO, 192.com
Mark Dearnley, CIO, Cable & Wireless
Michael Elliot, IT director, Hasbro
Kevin Fitzpatrick, CIO, Sodexho UK
Paul Haley, IT director, University of Aberdeen
John Keeling, director of computer services, John Lewis
Christopher Linfoot, IT director, LDV Group
Jacques Rene, CTO, Ascend Aerospace
Gavin Whatrup, group IT director, Creston

Want to be part of silicon.com's CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of silicon.com's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at editorial@silicon.com

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