Wireless LAN (WLAN) Security Modules



The wireless security approach taken is that of defense in depth. The focused directional beaming of RF data transmissions to only those areas in need of network service and nowhere else, while minimizing interference/data collisions, is the initial goal. A sustained effort to obtain a high level of physical security (both via RF OSI PHY layer management and physically) is the fundamental wireless security objective. A RF site survey (dB signal-to-noise measurement layout) is a good tool in initial wireless network design and helps to systematize securing the WLAN. Additional security measure "layers" emphasized in the five modules include:

  • Transmitted power management and selection of directional antennas

  • SSID management, beaconing, access filtering

  • Inter-frame spacing and polling management (security aspects)                                           

  • RTS/CTS operational modes (security aspects)                                                             

  • Server-based authentication (overview)

  • Use of routers to segment and manage data traffic

  • WIDS attack detection, and WIPS attack prevention (optional)

  • Wireless data encryption- including the 802.11i wireless security standard

Recommended textbook:


CWSP Guide to Wireless Security, Mark Ciampa, Thomson Course Technology Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4188-3637-5 and 1-4188-3637-0 (dual numbering)


Wireless security (WSEC) instructional modules (PP slides- Click to access):


To utilize the five WSEC Modules (1 - 5 listed below) in the classroom, adoption of the textbook (above) is required- due to copyright considerations.


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Wireless Security Basics-- Concise overview of crucial OSI Layer 1 WSEC concerns


WSEC Module 1 -- WLAN security principles


WSEC Module 2 -- WLAN vulnerabilities


WSEC Module 3 WLAN security (WSEC) basic concepts


WSEC Module 4 Wireless authentication and encryption


WSEC Module 5 WIDS attack detection, WIPS attack prevention




WSEC labs (hands-on activities)


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WSEC Lab 1 -- IBSS RF catchment zone


WSEC Lab 2--  Multi-cell channel selection


WSEC Lab 3--  Wireless data encryption


WSEC Lab 4--  Wireless access filtering


WSEC Lab 5 (use of routers)-- Basic router configurations




WSEC Module sample exams/quizzes


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WSEC Module 1 Exam/quiz


WSEC Module 2 Exam/quiz


WSEC Module 3 Exam/quiz


WSEC Module 4 Exam/quiz


WSEC Module 5 Exam/quiz




WSEC Module tracking matrix: Modules to chapters of the recommended textbook: 

  1. WSEC Module 1 tracks with Chapters 1, 3 in the textbook

  2. WSEC Module 2 tracks with Chapters1, 4

  3. WSEC Module 3 tracks with Chapter 7

  4. WSEC Module 4 tracks with Chapters 2, 5, 8

  5. WSEC Module 5 tracks with Chapter 10