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What is a wireless network penetration test?

Wireless networks are everywhere. Employing a wireless solution can offer greater flexibility, but it comes with greater potential for attack as it expands your organization’s logical perimeter. From rogue access points to weak encryption algorithms, threats to wireless networks are unique and the risks can be significant.

Wi-Fi can provide opportunities for attackers to infiltrate an organization’s secured environment – irrespective of security access controls. Penetration testing can help identify weaknesses in the wireless infrastructure.

Wireless network testing generally includes:

  • Identifying Wi-Fi networks, including wireless fingerprinting, information leakage, and signal leakage
  • Determining encryption weaknesses, such as encryption cracking, wireless sniffing and session hijacking
  • Identifying opportunities to penetrate a network by using wireless or evading WLAN access control measures
  • Identifying legitimate users’ identities and credentials to access otherwise private networks and services

Once identified, the vulnerabilities are presented in a format that allows an organization to assess their relative business risk and the cost of remediation. They can then be resolved in line with the network owner’s budget and risk appetite, helping them respond proportionately to cyber risks.Did you know?

Wireless networks present a much easier exploitation path for attackers than a standard wired network. Criminal hackers generally consider wireless networks to be ideal entry points into an organization’s systems.

Wireless network traffic is also easily recorded. Criminal hackers can gather proprietary information, logins, passwords, intranet server addresses, and valid network and station addresses. They can steal Internet bandwidth, transmit spam, or use your network as a springboard to attack others. They can capture and modify traffic to masquerade as you, with financial or legal consequences.

The benefits of completing a wireless network penetration test

  • Get real-world insight into your vulnerabilities
  • Detect default Wi-Fi routers
  • Identify rogue or open access points
  • Spot misconfigured or accidentally duplicated wireless networks
  • Flag security vulnerabilities in Bluetooth technology
  • Identify insecure wireless encryption standards (such as WEP)

Is a wireless network penetration test right for you?

If you are responsible for your network, you should ask yourself:

  • Have you identified all your access points? How many unsecured or poorly secured access points are there?
  • Is data freely flowing through your network without being encrypted?
  • Are there unauthorized access points on your network?
  • Is it possible that your IT department could misconfigure or accidentally duplicate a wireless network?
  • Has the appropriate security been put in place to prevent attacks?
  • Have you updated wireless protocols to an industry-accepted protocol (WPA2)?