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CCNA Exam Prep: Wireless Security and Implementation Considerations

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This chapter covers common administrative tasks required for WLAN maintenance and operation in preparation for the CCNA exam 640-802.
This chapter is from the book


This chapter covers the following Cisco-specified objectives for the "Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN" section of the 640-802 CCNA exam:

  • Identify and describe the purpose of the components in a small wireless network (including: SSID, BSS, ESS)
  • Identify the basic parameters to configure on a wireless network to ensure that devices connect to the correct access point
  • Compare and contrast wireless security features and capabilities of WPA security (including: open, WEP, WPA-1/2)
  • Identify common issues with implementing wireless networks



Understanding the Threats

  • War Driving
  • Direct Hacking
  • Employee Ignorance

Deploying a Secure Wireless Network

  • Wireless Encryption
    • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
    • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
    • Wi-Fi Protected Access, Reloaded (WPA2 and 802.11i)
  • Wireless Authentication (802.1x)
  • Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

Wireless Implementation Guidelines

  • Understanding Wireless Topologies
  • Understanding Wireless Data Rates
  • General Wireless Implementation Steps
  • Wireless Troubleshooting
    • Client Troubleshooting
    • Wireless Access Point Troubleshooting

Chapter Summary

  • Key Terms

Apply Your Knowledge

  • Review Questions
  • Exam Questions
  • Answers to Review Questions
  • Answers to Exam Questions
  • Suggested Readings and Resources


Okay. I admit it. I (Jeremy) drove to a friend's house and arrived a bit early, so I decided to spend a few minutes in the car checking my email. I pulled my laptop out of the back and did a quick wireless scan of the neighborhood. Two SSIDs appeared: Linksys and Netgear, both without security. I joined the Linksys network and checked my online web mail. (I prefer to think of this as "borrowing" the Internet connection rather than "stealing" wireless.) That's when a bearded man with a tattered shirt and loaded shotgun came out the front door. Sorry; I just needed a dramatic twist.

Harmless enough, right? Wrong! Imagine a strange individual walking into your front office with a laptop and saying, "Would you mind if I plugged into that wall jack over there?" Yes, I would mind. That would undermine every written security standard we have in our organization. But that's exactly what happens when you fail to properly understand and implement the security standards available for wireless networks. Keep in mind that not all wireless security is created equal. Some security standards (such as WEP) may give you a false sense of security, because many network intruders eat WEP security keys for breakfast. This is why a good comprehension of wireless security is absolutely necessary, even for the novice network administrator.

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