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Homegrown Wireless LAN Security

Thursday, January 1, 2004


The Penn State network holds more than 100,000 registered hosts, with approximately 200 connecting wirelessly. With the growing demand for wireless (802.11b) access to the Penn State network, we needed a way to prevent unauthorized access to our main network via wireless access points and to protect data as it traveled through the air using strong encryption rather than WEP. To meet our needs, the security solution had to be inexpensive, easy to maintain, and support Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX. We decided to use our existing infrastructure as much as possible; our VPN concentrator provides encryption and our existing Kerberos domain authenticates users. Using Access Control Lists on our routers, we were able to leverage our existing infrastructure to restrict unauthorized access and encrypt traffic on our WLANs, resulting in the PSU Wireless SecurNet.

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