Security Still Key WLAN Concern

But 64 percent of businesses intend to increase WLAN deployment during the next 12 months, according to the analyst firm

Research firm Gartner Inc. says the growth of wireless LAN networking the enterprise is causing users to worry more about WiFi security risks than ever before.

Gartner asked 200 networking and business technology firms in North America and Europe about their enterprise WLAN technology late last year. 64 percent of the respondents say they intend to increase WLAN deployment during the next 12 months.

Security, however, is still a key issue. A full 95 percent of those surveyed said security was among their top five WLAN concerns. Furthermore, 60 percent do not believe they have adequate security for their corporate wireless environment.

Gartner says that security concerns are growing as WLAN networks become a standard part of the corporate landscape rather than being limited to conference rooms and branch offices.

The pesky thing about WiFi security is that it also extends beyond the confines of the enterprise network, as Gartner notes. "Managing wireless security also involves managing users and devices when they are connected from remote branch offices, hot spots, and home offices," says analyst Rachna Ahlawat.

Despite advances in WiFi technology concerns about enterprise security may be well placed. A separate survey from enterprise management software firm CA Inc. (NYSE: CA) finds that more than 84 percent of organizations have experienced a security incident over the past 12 months and that security breaches have increased 17 percent since 2003.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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