Today's technological advancements have resulted in a huge reliance on our day to day mobile devices alike. We should factor this in when we are outlining our wireless networks. In the past, huge emphasis was not placed on the aforementioned as user only need to know provide adequate network coverage to a select group of people. However, almost everyone needs a wireless network every day on multiple devices.
With the increase in usage, it is evident that your networks require an overhaul of existing features that may soon turn obsolete. Depending on your industry, your network design may tend to deviate from others. Regardless of any differences in industries, every secure wireless network should contain some of the following common components:
Scalability – There is room for expansion
As we move on to a brand new year, the demand of more wireless gadgets grow on a continual basis. The need of such gadgets is prevalent in most businesses, thus they must implement a wireless network for the hardware to communicate and work properly. Especially in small businesses, it is vital for such business owners to adopt a wireless network and solution as most have reported instant advantages such as increased productivity, employee satisfaction and flexibility whilst performing one's work tasks.
However, the network that has been implemented must be scalable as a company will grow in time. It should have the ability to expand its capacity and coverage without needing a huge revamp on the existing network.
Role based access control (RBAC)
Every secure network should possess RBAC capabilities. It is a widely used method to restrict access to authorized users only. Based on the allocated role of a device, a network containing this access control feature allows the owner to easily compartmentalize individuals or groups and limit what they are able to access within the network. Here are the basic components that are common in a RBAC:
• Role groups: Usually one or more network administrators can be part of this group.
• Role assignment policies: Each policy comes with several role assignments, which will be associated with the users.
• Direct role assignment: Used to define tasks that an user can perform on his or her end.
High capacity load balancers
In the past, many wireless networks were outlined and designed for coverage. But today, the spike in smart devices such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and other IT peripherals are significant. Thus, modern wireless networks are slated for dealing with high capacity tasks. High capacity load balancers, a software program that acts as a middleman to connect users who wish to access services, possess security benefits that prevent malicious attacks on your backend servers.
Central management that handles all access points
Today, many wireless networks contain a more complex infrastructure that has hundreds to possibly thousands of access points. Hence, secure networks often provide their owners a central management feature to oversee all their access points within the network. When you make modifications and updates, the particular change takes effect on all access points across your wireless network, and it will be easy to spot suspicious activity.
Wireless visibility in real time
Real time monitoring features in your wireless network enables your IT staff to address any security risks promptly, should any arise. Your network should allow you to monitor a particular user in real time, for example:
• The type of coverage in their area
• The type of device they are using to access your network
• The possibility of their device compromising any networking components
Cater to a wide array of devices
Different frequencies from different devices may interfere with each other if they are crammed into a 'crowded' access point. You may be surprised to know that this includes daily devices such as:
• Bluetooth devices
• Baby scanners
If high levels of interference are precedent within the network, it may pose underlying security risks. Hence, a modern and secure wireless network should contain dual radio access points to manage ongoing users who use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz alongside each other.
Network Access Control (NAC)
It is vital that you implement network access control (NAC) to your wireless networks as it helps to safely register devices that your organization does not own. It also controls the role of new or existing users and enforces the right policies for them. Also, NAC can allow new users to register themselves to your network. To save your IT team from any unnecessary trouble, you should check with the user to determine if their devices contain the latest security updates or anti-virus software beforehand.
Mobile device management
If you want to keep your wireless network safe at all times, you have to keep in mind that there are thousands of applications running on it simultaneously. If these activities are left unmanaged or overlooked, it may cause harm to your network's integrity. Hence, mobile device management features within a secure wireless network only allow access to recognized software within it. If a mobile device, containing important information about your network, got misplaced or stolen, you can perform a remote wipe.
Getting stuck while designing your wireless network? At USWired Incorporated, we would be delighted to give you a helping hand during 2015 and many years to come!