right-arrow (6)Back

How to Make Public Wi-Fi Secure

Groupe_887Apr. 08, 2019

Government networks exchange large quantities of data including smart city solutions that track energy use, traffic density monitors, and security cameras at public buildings. And every new app, personal device, or IoT deployment creates a new gateway for a potential cyber-attack on your network.

The government sector accounted for 13.9 percent of data breaches in 2018. The largest recent data breach was one that involved India’s national ID database, known as the Aadhaar. That incident was reported in March 2018 and exposed the national ID numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, postal codes, and photographs of almost 1.2 billion Indian citizens.

But how do you make public Wi-Fi secure? Securing mission-critical city infrastructure requires a layered security framework that combines both proactive and reactive defense mechanisms.

Get IoT-ready

IoT connections are expected to double by 2025. And, since they all rely on public Wi-Fi networks, IoT adoption is only a matter of time for government networks. Superior IoT security means optimizing your infrastructure and beefing up granular control, including the ability to “containerize” your existing network.

IoT containment technology helps public sector organizations deploy a significantly more secure network architecture to protect against cybercrime. In this safe, simple and distributed environment, separate contained network areas can be created that are only accessible by compliant devices. For example, different departments are on separate networks. Connected devices and security systems can be kept on separate networks too, in case of compromise. This segmentation facilitates enforcement of security policies and limits the damage in the event of a security breach.

The Alcatel-Lucent OmniAccess® Stellar WLAN is designed to enable automatic on-boarding of smart and IoT devices to enhance the connected government experience across the spectrum of public sector services:

  • Digital device fingerprinting
  • Policy-based Bonjour/UPnP management
  • Discovery of service devices
  • Rules created based on:
  • Location
  • User group
  • Identity
  • Automatic and secure configuration into the correct network profile

Set up strong access controls

Access controls are crucial for network defense and they are becoming more prevalent each day. A stronger need to authorize users and devices is growing, to guarantee that the network is secure.

Here are two ways to securely configure and manage access controls:

  • Passwords: make them complex and renew frequently
  • Certificates: Obtain X.509 certificates “for mutual authentication between the IOT device and the server.” They are also commonly known for being used for Network Admission Control (NAC)
  • Encryption: a highly recommended secure protocol is Transport Layer Security (TLS), which should be used when managing devices.
  • Switch access and login information: Users’ login information should be stored on an external server such as Radius or LDAP. External servers also have accounting purposes, which would allow access to statistics about user sessions.

Denial of Service (DoS) filtering

Lastly, it is important to mention the filtering of Denial of Service (DoS). Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch® automatically filters denial of service (DoS) attacks. Some DoS attacks aim at system bugs or vulnerability, while other types of attacks involve generating large volumes of traffic so that legitimate network users are denied access to the network service.

ALE’s solution is the OmniAccess Stellar WLAN. They offer different types for different settings. “Low-TCO, hardworking Wi-Fi where everything connects. Quickly, simply, and securely. Now and for the future.