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Security by Obfuscation…

Seth is SOOO right. And so wrong. While I love the idea that leaving your wifi network open isn’t a security breach, it really is one. Seth IS right though that file security is a different kind of security.

What he hasn’t mentioned though, or may not even realize, is that you CAN sniff files from a wifi network, but only as they are accessed by others who DO have the right access. And that isn’t really likely to happen as someone strolls by. At the same time, people who ARE trying to get your files can easily break the wireless password.

The moral of the story though, is that you probably shouldn’t mix your wireless network with you wired one. In fact, we run our wifi networks on the OUTSIDE of the firewall and people use VPNs and other secure methods to access our corporate network, just as if they were on any other unsecured network. In this way we are able to provide our visiting customers and traveling consultants easy access to their files and at the same time maintain our secure network.

So what am I saying? I am saying that we should go ahead and open our networks, but close our firewalls. Security must be maintained, not between the client and the network, but on the server. Wired or wireless, the network must be considered unsecure. SSH, SSL, IPSec and even PPTP can be used to secure the link…

Open those networks…

Ahh yes, that does however leave your network open to be used as the source of nefarious activities. People can use your network (making them look like you) and spam the world. Hack into a bank, send email, browse their network. But the truth is, that they can go down to the local Starbucks (as Seth points out) and do the same thing.

They could also step into an office and make a phone call. Use a payphone, a throwaway cell phone.

If the FBI thinks that closing open networks is going to stop the real bad guys, or even slow them down, then they aren’t really that bright. I think it just makes our top cops look like amateurs!

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