UK businesses are picking up on the benefits of wireless networking but are worryingly clueless when it comes to securing the technology, according to a survey from security vendor SonicWALL.
Over 70 per cent of the 400 companies surveyed said they had, or were planning to, install wireless local area networks (Lans) in their offices. Over two thirds cited the increased flexibility offered by the technology as the main reason for installation.
But despite security being the biggest worry over wireless networking, a third of those surveyed had no way of checking whether their wireless connection was secure, while less than half had ever had their wireless security audited.
"Many companies have taken onboard the message that they need to have enforced security policies," said Mike Smart, European product manager at SonicWALL.
"The next phase will be to audit those policies, and deploy technologies like intrusion prevention to better enable firms to determine when the wireless Lans are breached.
"Legislative pressures such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II will play a part in ensuring that this happens sooner rather than later."
While 80 per cent of companies used a virtual private network to protect their fixed networking, only 20 per cent applied the same technology to wireless Lans.
Instead nearly half rely on compromised Wired Equivalent Privacy protection, which can be broken in minutes by a skilled hacker.
Overall, however, it seems that wireless communication is gaining acceptance among UK businesses. The number of companies that could see no advantages in it has halved to 16 per cent since last year's survey.
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