[ISN] Companies risk security by not introducing wireless

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Oct 13 04:53:10 EDT 2004


By Laura Berrill
OCTOBER 12, 2004 

Enterprise IT managers are interested, but reluctant, to introduce
wireless technology to their business for no good reason -- and as a
result could be risking security breaches. At least according to a
survey by researchers at IDC.

IDC's research director, Lars Vestergaard, said the research found
that interest by businesses in wireless LAN usage was widespread.  
However, "Unfortunately IT managers are being uncertain about using
this technology, but they use a lot of bad excuses," he said. "This is
because they often fear a lack of security as well as an increase in
transaction costs, for example, having to spend a lot of time and
money on introducing the technology to new users.

"They are worried about the time they would have to spend educating
and training users," he explained, and this could cause all sorts of
security problems for an enterprise.

"Wireless technology can be fully taken care of and encrypted,
although it does not come as standard. What is happening is that IT
managers are rejecting it on behalf of the company, but employees are
still using the technology and that is not secure," he said.

In particular, "employees are using connect cards and posing a
security risk by doing so because they don't know how their security
works, so someone could hack into the enterprise LAN. In this way,
enterprises are exposing themselves to risks by ignoring interest by
others in WLANs."

The solution, according to IDC, is for IT departments to make
strategies on how to deal with incorporating wireless technology,
adding that the technology was hugely successful already and was
inevitably going to be used as standard by the enterprise in the near

Vestergaard admitted there was a need for more education in the
workplace, but this was increasing with more IT managers being
educated and passing their knowledge on to all departments of a
possibly wavering enterprise.

He concluded, "It's inevitable people will start using wireless
technology on a big scale and on the business side it is visibly
needed. What's needed now is flexibility of pricing, an increase in
hot spots and an increased understanding of how the technology can be

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