Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 64 - Page 48

FEATURE : WI-FI

WI-FI IS NO LONGER A NICE-TO-HAVE , BUT A BUSINESS NECESSITY AND EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT IT CAN DELIVER AND HOW EASY IT SHOULD BE TO USE FOR MOBILITY .

Looking beyond the basics , Opil explained that the built-in security capabilities of routers or access points must be considered .
“ Most Wi-Fi devices feature several cybersecurity value-adds . These can include support for port and packet filtering , QoS control options and integrated firewall features . It is up to the technical team to assess the security features of the Wi-Fi devices and select the ones that best integrate into the existing network environment of the organisation ,” he said .
Security
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise ’ s Benhaddou explained that succeeding in deploying a Wi-Fi network on an enterprise environment depends on achieving properly its design , planning and maintenance .
He said common mistakes seen in the field are usually linked to omitting or not adequately conducting the required tasks and activities .
“ This can range from bad site surveys or no surveys at all , wrong capacity planning regarding the number of users and the supported types of applications especially for the high-density areas , failing to develop the right security strategy related to implementing the latest standards , access control policies and intrusion prevention ,” he noted .
He said choosing the right WLAN solution vendor is also important as the selected solution needs to fit the environment and the industry where it should be deployed .
“ Having the right tools to monitor the infrastructure , making sure the system is operating smoothly with the right performance and providing applications analytics , is key to managing an enterprise grade Wi-Fi network . Lacking these tools is also a common mistake which should be avoided .”
Industry pundits say securing Wi-Fi networks cannot be understated and enterprises should ensure comprehensive security for their networks .
In addition to keeping wireless routers and access points secure , Opil believes companies must embrace a holistic approach to the cybersecurity of their IT environments .
“ Yes , being sensible about router settings , strong passwords and encryption , and firmware updates will deliver great results in safeguarding the corporate environment . But that alone is not enough . Instead , IT teams need to analyse their firewalls , anti-virus software and other endpoint security solutions to ensure a more integrated way of protecting the corporate environment ,” he explained .
According to Benhaddou , Wi-Fi 6 is the official sixth generation of Wi-Fi technology which is based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ) 802.11ax standard .
“ The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification programme to ensure Wi-Fi 6 devices meet expectations for quality , security and interoperability .
“ When a product successfully passes testing , the manufacturer or vendor is granted the right to use the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo . Certification means that a product has been tested in numerous configurations with a diverse sampling of other devices to validate interoperability with other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment operating in the same frequency band ,” he said . p
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