Essay: Wired and Wireless Communications

Essay: Wired and Wireless Communications
12/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Wired and Wireless Communications Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

Wired Communication

In wired connections, eavesdropping is not very easy; hence physical security is not a very big issue. However, there is a need for security on the wired connection as well in order to prevent any compromise of critical information, even in the case where the intruder is able to successfully evesdrop on a LAN connection. Any access to the servers from other computers on the network can be protected through the implementation of a public-private key encryption infrastructure. One of the most popular encryption infrastructures is based on Data Encryption Standard (DES). Furthermore, the authentication of users can also be performed by Kerberos, a standard developed at MIT, which uses an authentication server to validate the users’ permission.

Kerberos uses DES algorithm. After the authentication has been successful, further communication between different applications on can take place over secure connections, which also use encryption. Furthermore, remote users can also be verified by using remote authentication protocol such as RADIUS or DIAMETER. In addition, secure connectivity between two computers that have a public network, such as the Internet, between them can be provided through the creation of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN allows for the creation of secure point-to-point tunnels or channel between the two computers which are protected by encryption algorithms which can be IPSec, Transport Layer Security, Secure Socket Layer or Layer 2 Transport Protocol (Whitman, Mattord, Minoli, & Kouns, 2009).

Wireless Communication

In most organization, a wireless link exists mostly as Wireless LAN or 802.11 standard connections. Since there is not visible link present between two computers that are connected with wireless networking, it is important to ensure strict security in these networks as an unsecured network would allow for any persons to join it, allowing for ease of eavesdropping. There are currently two standards available to secure wireless connections. These are Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). The WEP uses a stream cipher RC4 for adding confidentiality as well as a CRC-32 checksum for the integrity of data.  However, WEP was identified as having major security limitations, due to the fact that its packet could be easily intercepted and the encryption cracked within minutes. Hence WEP was deprecated by Wi-Fi Alliance and was superseded by Wi-Fi Protected Access. WPA improved the weak data encryption of the WEP standard as well as added a new strong user authentication. These were implemented in the from TKIP and 802.11x mechanisms, which allowed for the changing of the encryption keys in the network at much faster rate then they were able to be decrypted. In WPA networks, each network devices is protected by a 256-bit key which can be entered either as 64 digits hexadecimal string or as a passphrase of 8 to 63 ASCII characters. However, WPA is also vulnerable when operated in pre-shared more in which the encryption key that is used to secure the network is already shared between the entities using a non-secure connection (Valte, 2007).

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