Network security architecture

Running head: Secure Wireless LAN Architecture SECURE WIRELESS LAN ARCHITECTURE According to Hermans (2005) there are two major methods for implementing WLAN networks today, both of which involve Wireless 802. 11 standard. These two approaches, however, entail some basic differences which majorly impact deployment costs, management and security. These architectures are namely the Centralized and Distributed AP WLAN architectures. The former requires one or multiple servers or switches to be deployed while the latter approach is more coherent to the IEEE 802. 11 standard.
The IEEE 802. 11 specifies a group of technologies governing wireless Ethernet connectivity between client devices and wireless hubs connected to a physical network, (Conover et al., 2000). When analyzing the vulnerability of a WLAN, it is crucial to identify the trusted and un-trusted parts. The security edge in the Centralized approach is the WLAN switch. Here, the Access Points lack strong encryption or authentication technology hence making it vulnerable to rogue inappropriate communication between APs.
In Distributed Architecture, on the other hand, security is extended to the client devices where strong encryption occurs at both the APs and client devices along with authentication. This makes attacks more difficult because the security edge is closer to the users. In this case, a Distributed Architecture can be considered more superior to the centralized architecture as the APs handle the packets and only traffic management needs to go to and from a central point.
Careful planning, implementation and management are needed to eliminate WLAN security risks in an organization. This can be aided by establishing security policies and practices, separating internal networks logically, eliminating unnecessary protocols, protecting wireless devices, restricting AP connections, enabling VPN access only, among other measures.
Conover, N. (2000, July 11). Wireless LANs Work Their Magic. Retrieved from Symantec: http://www. networkcomputing. com/1113/1113f2side2. html
Hermans, J. (2005, February 16). WLAN Architecture- Best Practices. Retrieved from Ultra Electronics: www. ultra-3eti. com/assets/1/7