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Avoid Hacks on Vulnerable Wireless Workstations

Wireless workstations have tons of security vulnerabilities and could be targeted for hacks — from weak passwords to unpatched security holes to the storage of WEP and WPA encryption keys locally. Most of the well-known wireless client vulnerabilities have been patched by their respective vendors, but you never know whether all your wireless systems are running the latest versions of operating systems, wireless client software, and other software applications.

In addition to using the wireless client, stumbling, and network analysis software, you should also search for wireless client vulnerabilities by using various vulnerability testing tools, such as GFI LanGuard, QualysGuard, and Acunetix web Vulnerability Scanner.

These programs aren’t wireless-specific, but they might turn up vulnerabilities in your wireless computers that you might not have discovered or thought about testing otherwise.

You can implement the following countermeasures to keep your workstations from being used as entry points into your WLAN:

  • Regularly perform vulnerability assessments on your wireless workstations, in addition to other network hosts.

  • Apply the latest vendor security patches and enforce strong user passwords.

  • Use personal firewalls and endpoint security software on all wireless systems where possible, including smartphones and tablets, to keep malicious intruders off those systems and out of your network.

  • Install anti-malware software.

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