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Balancing Security and Access

Most people in networking believe that balancing security and access is a zero-sum game: give to one, and you must take from the other. Wireless security was no different in the beginning, because users were forced to enter 26-digit hexadecimal codes to gain secure wireless access. It was a pain, but that was the price you paid for checking your e-mail when meetings started to get boring.

Wireless security has come a long way from the “easily” breached Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security keys to the more secure Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 security standards. Ease of use has also been improved. Laptops are usually preconfigured by IT so that users can securely connect without a lot of additional steps.

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