How to Compare and Use Wireless Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems

Rogue access points? Evil twins? Wireless IDP systems aim to defeat these and other tricky hacks.

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Wireless intrusion detection and protection (IDP) systems monitor enterprise airwaves with a network of wireless monitors connected to a central server. They capture data from the radio spectrum and analyze it for rogue access points (APs), unauthorized devices, unauthorized association, adherence to policy, incorrectly configured security settings, unexpected behavior and wireless attacks such as MAC spoofing and denial of service attacks.

Wireless IDS/IPS use a network of sensors

They then provide reporting and alerts, which can be sent to workflow systems, trouble-ticketing systems or network management consoles, or they can be sent via e-mail or pager to administrators. Wireless IDP systems can also prevent against threats automatically by detecting and classifying threats.

This article examines key forces driving adoption, important criteria for comparing and choosing wireless IDP systems, plus dos and don'ts for implementation.

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