Wireless Water Cooler

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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 some handheld scanners that were 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?

Scott McDermott - @scottm32768 - www.mostlynetworks.com
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