Concerns grow over rogue Wi-Fi security

Malicious or insecure Wi-Fi networks are presenting an increasing risk to businesses, even as security measures continue to develop

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 CIO Jury IT user panel, organised by ZDnet UK's sister site, 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.

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."