Information Security Degree

Since 2013, there have been more Wi-Fi capable devices than there are people on earth. While a fact like this says a lot about how technology in society has made massive strides, it also reinforces the fact that information security is now more important than ever before. One of the greatest challenges for professionals and anybody interested in information security classes, is ensuring that these devices have adequate protection when connecting to the millions of available public access points and private Wi-Fi networks that are now ubiquitous in the United States.

One thing that you can be sure of in 2016, is that the outdated WEP protocol is no longer sufficient to protect against unauthorized access and data snooping. Let’s find out why…

Why WEP No Longer Offers Adequate Security

Information Security Degree

As early as 2001, security researchers were already telling the world that WEP security was not enough. Fast forward to 2016 and it can be somewhat surprising, and very concerning, to learn that some businesses and households still rely on WEP to secure their private networks. While studying for an information security degree, you will learn the safest ways to protect wireless users, and knowing the reasons why older protocols are ineffective will help you to appreciate what protocols like WPA have to offer.

Ten years ago, it was possible to break a WEP encryption key in less than 5 seconds, using a relatively slow single core desktop processor. Today, cell phones, laptops, and other wireless devices can achieve the same in as little as three seconds, and it doesn’t even require any particular skillset. Malicious parties can use simple software programs to analyze the packets on a WEP encrypted network, revealing the key which will give them access to the internet connection, data, and devices that are connected to that network. Businesses and home users with networks running WEP security are at risk of having intellectual property and other sensitive information compromised, computers could be infected with malware and viruses, and even identity theft could occur thanks to the limitations of this long outdated wireless security measure.

After completing information security classes and obtaining your qualification, you will have the skills and knowledge to be able to provide invaluable advice to your employer and clients. One of the most important things you can do on a standard Wi-Fi connection, is ensure that it is protected by the newer WPA protocol.

The Advantages of WPA over WEP

information security trainingWPA has become the standard for home and commercial Wi-Fi networks, and when you take a look at the benefits, it’s not hard to understand why.

The biggest advantage of WPA is that it doesn’t rely on static encryption keys. As data is continually transferred between a WPA enabled Wi-Fi router and the devices connected to it, the encryption key is also being changed. This happens on a per-frame basis, which makes it extremely difficult for an unauthorized party to gain access to the network. Compare this to the static keys on WEP that can be cracked in seconds, and it’s not difficult to understand why professionals with information security training will always recommend a form of WPA over the older WEP protocol.

Encryption key changes don’t affect end users on connected and authorized devices, because the router broadcasts the new keys in secure transmissions. This means that WPA is also incredibly user friendly, and there is no additional configuration for users to make after they have connected to a WPA network using a password. WPA also uses a more advanced type of user authentication, which goes beyond the simple MAC address authentication that WEP uses.

Information Technology Security Careers Begin with Comprehensive Training

Wi-Fi security is just one important aspect of information security, and you will learn much more when studying at the ITI Technical College in Louisiana. An information security specialization can lead to a career in network security, corporate IT security, or even roles with government organizations like the Department of Homeland Security.

Contact us today to learn more about available courses, and prepare yourself for an exciting career in an industry that is always changing with the latest advancements in computer and networking technology.


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