Westchester County Passes Wireless Network Security Law

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STAMFORD, Conn., April 24 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Desktop Guerrillas offers businesses expert advice for securing their networks. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in this country. Criminals are enticed with a precious bounty - your credit line. We've all gotten used to shredding our credit card statements, but what about the businesses that are cavalier with our personal information?

On April 20, Westchester County enacted a law requiring any business that uses a customer's financial information to take "minimum security measures" to protect their wireless network. Businesses have 180 days to comply with the new law.

Joe Presto, president of the technology consulting firm Desktop Guerrillas, agrees that enabling security features on a business's wireless network is a must. However, care must be taken to ensure against improper setup by inexperienced technicians or users. "Not all encryption methods are created equal," says Presto. "The most common type - called 'WEP' - is far from secure, yet that's what most businesses are relying on to protect their network. A skilled computer user can breach it in minutes."

To properly secure your business, Presto recommends following at a minimum:

* Use WPA instead of WEP. Upgrade any wireless devices that aren't WPA-compatible, as you cannot mix the two technologies.

* Choose a strong encryption key. If words are used as part of the key, hackers may be able to guess at your key through a "dictionary attack." Use a completely random set of letters, numbers, and symbols.

* Don't give your wireless network a name that would identify your company. Use a unique but non-identifiable name such as "wire3811."

A newsletter which covers wireless security in more detail is available online at Desktop Guerrillas is also available for on-site evaluations of wireless networks.

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