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Thu, 10.04.2003
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pte20030410024 Computer/Telecommunications
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Half of all WLANs insecure
Lack of proper encoding in companies

Munich (pte024/10.04.2003/11:13) - Over half of all WLAN systems used in German firms are, if at all, only poorly secured. According to a new Ernst & Young study, only 48 per cent of all companies using WLAN have adequate encryption mechanisms.

"You don't have to be a specialist to be a WLAN hacker. The necessary software is freely available on the Internet and the hardware is available for a few euros," said Hans-Georg B├╝ttner, author of the report and expert in IT network security at Ernst & Young.

Companies in seven German cities were surveyed in the study. Two thirds of the companies said they were already using WLAN or want to implement the technology in the near future http://www.ey.com/Global/content.nsf/Germany/Presse_-_Pressemitteilungen_2003_-_WLAN_wird_zum_Sicherheitsrisiko .

In the course of the study, the consultants found a general lack of security awareness among those companies using WLAN. This was all the more surprising, considering that nearly half of the companies questioned had already been the victims of hacker attacks. One of the problems lies in a lack of secure encoding among companies. But WLANs themselves are also a source of risk, as they often give out information on the producers of hardware components, as well as the names of networks or even companies.

Ernt & Young concluded that WLAN had not yet been completely incorporated into company security concepts. Although individual measures are taken, many doors are left open. Nevertheless, about a fifth of companies questioned has at least set up a firewall between WLAN and LAN.

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