Wireless and broadband networks form the backbone of India’s digital infrastructure, permitting millions of individuals to use the internet network for distinct reasons such as healthcare, education and commerce.  So, what is broadband? Broadband is a speedy internet network that is active constantly and quicker than conventional dial-up access. It consists of a variety of speedy transmission means involving DSL or digital subscriber lines, fibre, cable modems, broadband over powerlines, and satellites. In contrast, business wireless internet refers to the utilisation of wireless technology to endow internet accessibility to businesses, leading to scalability, flexibility, and the possibility of a mobile network.

The growth of wireless networks and broadband has enhanced connections while posing distinct security issues. Such difficulties must be met in order to maintain privacy and safety. Here are some security issues in wireless networks and broadband with their solutions –

Ø  Eavesdropping 

This is a passive attack that includes interception of data being transferred over the network, considerably exposing delicate info to unverified parties. 

Data encryption in transit is essential; protocols such as HTTPs secure web traffic while virtual private networks or VPNs create a secure tunnel for the transmission of data, protecting it from others. This helps us ensure that even if data is intercepted & it remains unintelligible to the attacker.

Ø  Unauthorised access

Unsecured wireless networks are the same as an open door for cyber intruders, permitting them to access and exploit network resources. It can result in data breaches as well as unverified use of services on the Internet. 

Deploying the latest in Wi-Fi Access technology offers robust encryption, thwarting attackers’ attempts to decipher network traffic. Employing multi-factor verification adds a security layer, ensuring only authorised users or individuals can get access to the network. 

Ø  Malware and ransomware

Such malicious programs can hamper operations, hold data hostage, and steal sensitive data, demanding ransom for the release. 

To prevent this, installing anti-malware software offers the first line of defence against distinct malicious programs. Periodically updating apps and systems lowers the risk of exploitation.

Ø MItm or man in the middle attack

In the scenario of a MitM attack, attackers secretly depend on and possibly alter the communication between two parties who believe they are communicating directly with one other. 

End-to-end encryption ensures that the data stays secure from its origin to its final destination, thwarting the attempts of MitM. Protocols like TLS or SSL, when implemented well, secure web traffic, and make it tough for attackers to tamper or intercept the data. 

Ø  DDoS or distributed denial of services and DoS or denial of service attacks

These attacks aim at overwhelming a network with traffic, rendering it not available for legit users.  

Intrusion and firewall detection systems can filter malicious traffic, lowering the DoS attack effect. For bigger-scale DDoS attacks, mitigation services can disseminate traffic throughout a network of servers, which prevents any single server from getting overwhelmed. 

Ø  Network sniffing

Attackers utilise software tools for capturing data packets as they traverse throughout a network, potentially accessing sensitive info. 

Encrypting networks, both externally and internally, ensures that if any data packet is captured, it must not be interpreted easily. Moreover, securing the network against unauthorised accessibility can prevent attackers from installing sniffing instruments. 

Ø  Weak encryption

Utilising outdated encryption standards leaves a network vulnerable to breaches, as attackers find it easier to crack weaker encryption methods.

Always ensure that the latest encryption standards and protocols are in use. This includes updating Wi-Fi encryption to WPA3 and ensuring web traffic is secured with the latest versions of SSL/TLS protocols.

Ø  SSID broadcasting

By default, wireless networks broadcast their SSID to devices, which might draw unwelcome attention from potential attackers.

Disabling SSID broadcasting renders a network inaccessible to casual surfing by unauthorised users, however, it should be noted that this is not a failsafe defence against determined attackers equipped with more advanced scanning tools.

Ø  Software vulnerabilities

Software that is not updated periodically might have unpatched vulnerabilities that attackers may utilise to acquire unverified access or cause any disruption. 

Periodically updating all the software to their recent versions ensures that identified vulnerabilities are addressed, which lowers the possibility of exploitation. This includes operating systems, network devices and applications. 

Ø  Password cracking

Weak or default passwords are readily guessed or cracked via brute force assaults, allowing attackers easy access to networks.

Implementing strong password standards that demand a combination of letters, numbers, & special characters can make password cracking substantially more difficult. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra degree of protection by asking users to give 2 or more verification factors before gaining access.

Ø  Insider threats 

Threats from an organisation, like disgruntled employees, may pose considerable risk owing to their access to delicate information and systems. 

Implementing stringent controls ensures you just have access to info and resources crucial for their roles. Monitoring network activity for unusual patterns can help in detecting and mitigating insider threats.

Ø  Spoofing attacks

These attacks include mimicking another device or user on the network in order to obtain unauthorised access or disrupt activities.

Implementing IP/MAC address filtering guarantees that only permitted devices connect to the network. Secure networks include integrity checks and verification, which reduces the possibility of spoofing attacks. 

Ø  IoT security

The growth of the internet of things or IoT devices has led to distinct security issues, as many devices lack fundamental security protections. 

IoT devices that are secured with strong passcodes and update their firmware can avoid common security problems. Separating IoT devices from network resources reduces the possible effect of a hacked device.

Ø  Wireless network interference

Interference, whether deliberate (jamming) or inadvertent (due to other electrical equipment), can affect wireless network performance.

Using wireless spectrum analyzers can assist detect sources of interference, allowing network settings to be adjusted or devices to be physically relocated to lessen the impacts.

Ø  Rogue access points

Attackers can install unauthorised access points to a network in order to evade security measures and grab data.

Regular network audits and the use of network security solutions can help discover and remove illegal devices. Strict access controls prevent unauthorised devices from connecting to the network.

Ø  Data leaks

Unintentional exposure, wrong permissions, or targeted attacks all have the potential to jeopardise sensitive information.

Data loss prevention (DLP) methods can monitor and regulate data transfer, preventing unauthorised access or exchange. 

Ø  Social engineering

This includes coercing someone into disclosing secret information or doing activities that jeopardise security.

Periodic security awareness training enlightens users regarding the dangers of social engineering and how detecting and responding to such attempts are crucial. Simulating social engineering assaults can give valuable expertise in recognising and combating these dangers.

Ø  Zero-day vulnerabilities

Such are the vulnerabilities that are exploited aggressively by attackers before vendors fix them. 

Utilising threat intelligence services and following a proactive security method permits businesses to be ahead of new threats. This includes deploying security solutions, which can figure out and mitigate threats depending on behaviour. 

Ø  Physical security risks

The damage to the network or physical loss of gear can impede operations, resulting in data breaches. Security controls, like secure network access and surveillance cameras, restrict unauthorised physical access to major assets. 

Despite such hindrances, wireless networks and broadband offer considerable advantages to consumers and companies. They make economic progress and promote innovation. Being aware of and tackling security issues will permit our country to make the most out of the power of wireless technologies and broadband effectively and securely. The solution depends on taking a comprehensive and proactive approach to cybersecurity.

By Grace