Companies are leaving their wireless networks exposed to hackers because of widespread failure to understand or implement 802.11x security systems, a survey has claimed.
The study commissioned security vendor nCipher revealed less than half of firms plan to introduce the technology in the next two years. It comes as another blow to producers of 802.1x equipment, following Forrester research in March which showed the technology is more costly to implement than originally thought.
802.1x is an IEEE standard that protects network ports from unauthorised access and is particularly designed for wireless networks.
The report concludes that another hampering factor in adoption of 802.1x is management of associated cryptographic keys. The survey found an average of ten per cent of companies had more than 10,000 keys on their servers and desktops.
“The greater use of encryption, decryption, signing and authentication means that managing cryptographic keys across the enterprise is becoming increasingly complex and diverse," said Richard Moulds, vice president marketing at nCipher.
"We believe there will be significant growth in the number of cryptographic keys that need to be managed, clearly demonstrating there is a growing need in the market place for systems and processes to manage this booming issue.”
The research found just over a third of companies currently use cryptography to protect their systems and 82 per cent plan on using it in the next 18 months. The most popular applications were for remote working and long term data storage.
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