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Enterprises often enforce security using a certificate based system to authenticate the connecting device, following the standard 802.1X.
However, there are effective countermeasures (like disabling open switchports during switch configuration and VLAN configuration to limit network access) that are available to protect both the network and the information it contains, but such countermeasures must be applied uniformly to all network devices.
Due to its availability and low cost, the use of wireless communication technologies increases in domains beyond the originally intended usage areas, e.g. Such industrial applications often have specific security requirements.
Hacking has also become much easier and more accessible with easy-to-use Windows- or Linux-based tools being made available on the web at no charge.
Some organizations that have no wireless access points installed do not feel that they need to address wireless security concerns.
Modern operating systems such as Linux, mac OS, or Microsoft Windows make it fairly easy to set up a PC as a wireless LAN "base station" using Internet Connection Sharing, thus allowing all the PCs in the home to access the Internet through the "base" PC.
However, lack of knowledge among users about the security issues inherent in setting up such systems often may allow others nearby access to the connection.
Today there are a great number of security risks associated with the current wireless protocols and encryption methods, as carelessness and ignorance exists at the user and corporate IT level.
Hacking methods have become much more sophisticated and innovative with wireless.
The current standard is WPA2; some hardware cannot support WPA2 without firmware upgrade or replacement.
WPA2 uses an encryption device that encrypts the network with a 256-bit key; the longer key length improves security over WEP.
A hacker could sit out in the parking lot and gather information from it through laptops and/or other devices, or even break in through this wireless card–equipped laptop and gain access to the wired network.