Wireless Water Cooler

Reply
Guest Blogger
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎02-13-2014

Wi-Fi In The Warehouse

I was out at a warehouse the other day doing some preliminary checks of the RF environment, just to get the lay of the land. The RF was actually pretty clean with only a couple nearby networks and not much noise, which was good news. I did find an 802.11b network. Secured by WEP. And it was ours. This was not good news. It turned out to be for the handheld scanners and was installed by the vendor that helped setup the warehouse automation system.

 

I've been thinking about it and am somewhat torn. I know it should go away and be replaced with something from the last decade, but it works. The network can't actually be seen outside of the warehouse. It's certainly a security risk, but a relatively minor one. I haven't dug into it enough to determine if the handheld scanners can do more than WEP, so fixing that may also mean replacing scanners and their software. To get rid of this 802.11b network could turn out to be quite expensive.

My first course of action will be to see if the system supports anything beyond WEP, but I'm not optimistic. If better security isn't available, what's your opinion? Do you push to replace the system, leave it alone, or do something else? How much do you worry about this sort of thing?

--
Scott McDermott - @scottm32768 - www.mostlynetworks.com
MVP
Posts: 978
Registered: ‎04-13-2009

Re: Wi-Fi In The Warehouse

Hi,

 

In a nutshell I'd look into removing / replacing it asap.

 

Not in a nutshell..

Identify what access to the network the scanners have. With this information you can assess the risk that you're putting the company under by broadcasting a network "secured" by WEP. If it's a standalone network just for the scanners to communicate with each other, great. If they have full access to the network, not so great.

 

I'm not going to talk about how insecure WEP is as I know you (and everyone else on here) already know this. Lets just say sub 5 mins to hack.

 

The 802.11b network will be interfering with your precious airtime. Your enterprise APs and clients performance in the area of the 802.11b network will be negatively affected.

 

The above would be enough for me to make a decision about removing / replacing.

 

Cheers

James

Cheers
James

-------------------------------------------------------
-------------------@whereisjrw-------------------
------------------------blog-------------------------
ACCX #540 | ACMX #353 | ACDX #216
-----------Mobility First Expert #11----------
-------------------------------------------------------

If a reply adequately addresses your issue, please click on the "Accept as Solution" and "Give Kudos" button so this information can benefit other users via search.
Guest Blogger
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎02-13-2014

Re: Wi-Fi In The Warehouse

I suspect the only access the scanners have is to the automation network, which is enough to make me uncomfortable. There's only guest Wi-Fi in there, so I'm not actually worried about the 11b airtime issue, at least not yet. I'm hoping to be able to turn on some real security to start with, but I have to look into the scanners and the AP to find out what they support... I suspect the scanners are too old to support anything other than 11b with WEP. :(

 

Project scope expands rapidly...

--
Scott McDermott - @scottm32768 - www.mostlynetworks.com
Search Airheads
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: