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Enterprises often enforce security using a certificate-based system to authenticate the connecting device, following the standard 802.1X.
Many laptop computers have wireless cards pre-installed.
The current standard is WPA2; some hardware cannot support WPA2 without firmware upgrade or replacement.
WPA2 uses an encryption device that encrypts the network with a 256-bit key; the longer key length improves security over WEP.
Wireless security is the prevention of unauthorized access or damage to computers or data using wireless networks, which include Wi-Fi networks.
The most common type is Wi-Fi security, which includes Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).
In-Stat MDR and META Group have estimated that 95% of all corporate laptop computers that were planned to be purchased in 2005 were equipped with wireless cards.
Anyone within the geographical network range of an open, unencrypted wireless network can "sniff", or capture and record, the traffic, gain unauthorized access to internal network resources as well as to the internet, and then use the information and resources to perform disruptive or illegal acts.
Since most 21st-century laptop PCs have wireless networking built in (see Intel "Centrino" technology), they don't need a third-party adapter such as a PCMCIA Card or USB dongle.
Built-in wireless networking might be enabled by default, without the owner realizing it, thus broadcasting the laptop's accessibility to any computer nearby.
There were relatively few dangers when wireless technology was first introduced.
Hackers had not yet had time to latch on to the new technology, and wireless networks were not commonly found in the work place.
However, there are many security risks associated with the current wireless protocols and encryption methods, and in the carelessness and ignorance that exists at the user and corporate IT level.