Wireless security is the prevention of unauthorized access or damage to computers using wireless networks.
Wireless networks are very common, both for organizations and individuals. Many laptop computers have wireless cards pre-installed. The ability to enter a network while mobile has great benefits. However, wireless networking has many security issues. Hackers have found wireless networks relatively easy to break into, and even use wireless technology to crack into wired networks. As a result, it's very important that enterprises define effective wireless security policies that guard against unauthorized access to important resources.
The risks to users of wireless technology have increased as the service has become more popular. There were relatively few dangers when wireless technology was first introduced. Crackers had not yet had time to latch on to the new technology and wireless was not commonly found in the work place. However, there are a great number of security risks associated with the current wireless protocols and encryption methods, and in the carelessness and ignorance that exists at the user and corporate IT level. Cracking methods have become much more sophisticated and innovative with wireless. Cracking has also become much easier and more accessible with easy-to-use Windows or Linux-based tools being made available on the web at no charge.
Some organizations that have no wireless access points installed do not feel that they need to address wireless security concerns. In-Stat MDR and META Group have estimated that 95% of all corporate laptop computers that were planned to be purchased in 2005 were equipped with wireless. Issues can arise in a supposedly non-wireless organization when a wireless laptop is plugged into the corporate network. A cracker could sit out in the parking lot and gather info from it through laptops and/or other devices as handhelds, or even break in through this wireless card-equipped laptop and gain access to the wired network.