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Chapter 19. Securing Your Wi-Fi Network > How Real Is the Threat?

How Real Is the Threat?

Make no mistake, the threat is real. If you compare a wireless network with a conventional wired network, essentially the security risks posed by the two are the same with one big exception. The big exception is that a wireless network provides no physical security. Essentially anyone can tap into a wireless network. In comparison, to hack a wired network you need a physical connection to the network's wiring.

Attacks from the Internet are a threat to both wired and wireless networks. But otherwise, no one can attack a wired network without gaining admittance to your premises. Wireless networks are vulnerable to attacks from people who are not on your physical premises. This means that protection cannot be obtained by physical security measures, but only by implementing appropriate internal management and security measures. A lock on your door should inhibit someone who would like to access your wired network, but it is meaningless to the security of your wireless network.


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