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802.11 wireless network policy recommendation for usage within unclassified government networks

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1 Author(s)
Feil, H. ; Aerosp. Corp., Chantilly, VA, USA

In September 2002, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum prohibiting most uses of wireless technology in government facilities because of the exploitation vulnerabilities. This paper will examine the current risks of allowing wireless 802.11 networks within government space for unclassified usage and will compare those risks to other existing remote access risks such as dial-up and through internet firewalls. The paper will explore risk mitigation techniques to enforce an acceptable level of security, and it will discuss the impacts on the unclassified networks if the risk mitigation techniques fail. The paper will also recommend a wireless security model to deploy 802.11 wireless networks for unclassified government use. Various implementations (including encrypted virtual private network (VPN) tunnels, Wi-Fi protected access (WPA), and next generation 802.11i wireless solutions) will be compared to the proposed security model resulting in a recommended wireless security policy for government (or commercial) use. The paper will conclude that mutually authenticated encrypted VPN tunnels are acceptably secure and recommend networks migrate to next generation 802.11i solutions when available.

Published in:

Military Communications Conference, 2003. MILCOM '03. 2003 IEEE  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

13-16 Oct. 2003