CONTROLLER VS. CONTROLLERLESS WIFI: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

CONTROLLER VS. CONTROLLERLESS WIFI

Have you ever heard of the terms thin AP’s, fat AP’s, wifi controller, or controllerless wifi in regards to wireless? Chances are if you’ve been anywhere near the Information Technology field in the last 10 years you’ve probably heard of at least one of them.

If not, let’s break down some of these terms and talk about their place in a wireless network.

controller

Fat AP’s, or Autonomous AP’s were the first type of access points that were introduced onto the wireless market.

These were perfect for small scale wireless network solutions that needed no more than 10-15 clients per access point or were just providing “hot-spot” type of services.

These AP’s are called autonomous AP’s since they each are their own entity.

Each fat AP needs to be manually configured for the network and security settings you would want running on your network. This is a great solution if you only plan on having a few AP’s.

Any more than that just wasn’t scalable. No administrator wants to have to manually configure multiple devices – thus the need for a change.

WLAN Controllers with thin AP’s was the next evolution in WLANs that changed the face of wireless. A thin AP is simply an access point that is managed by a WLAN controller.

The WLAN controller provides the thin AP its configuration and also functions as a switch for all the wireless traffic. The WLAN controller also consolidated management for the entire wireless network in one place.

Some WLAN controllers perform functions such as a Stateful firewall between the wired/wireless networks, VPN connectivity, Intrusion Detection / Prevention services, spectrum monitoring/analysis, and much more.

WLAN controllers are physical devices that are rack mounted in the core data room and communicate with each AP at the same time.

This allows for easy and quick configuration of multiple AP’s without having to manually configure each and every one.

It also eliminates the need to re-architect your wired network to host a WLAN.

As you might assume, scalability is greatly improved by the addition of a WLAN controller as it easily allows the installation of more AP’s onto the network and reduces deployment and management complexities.

WLAN controller, controllerless wifi, wifi service providers,

Controller-less access points have been the next breakthrough recently in wireless technology.

At first you hear the word “controller-less” and you think, “Wait a second. But I like controllers!” Well don’t worry, WLAN controllers aren’t going anywhere.

Over the past few years there have been huge improvements to the technologies we use today. One of them is virtualization.

Wireless vendors now have started to implement this into their wireless products.

Because of the advancement of physical components inside access points (chipsets, memory, etc.) developers have now found a way to virtualize controller software and run it on the old “thin” AP’s themselves.

This is a huge breakthrough for wireless because it means that now multiple AP’s can still be managed from one interface without the addition of a physical rack-mounted controller.

For many clients this is a great avenue for them since physical WLAN controllers may be out of their budget or simply overkill for their needs– yet they would still like the ease of controller-based management. WLAN controller, controllerless wifi, wireless network design, wifi companies,

Primarily all wireless networks today that are in the commercial or educational environment are managed by controllers of some sort.

The IT community as a whole depends largely on secure wireless networks and does not have the luxury of configuring AP’s individually.

The introduction of the controller has streamlined and reduced the complexity of WLANs whether they are controller or controller-less based.

Article Provided By:SecurEdge

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How to prevent potential HTTPS URL hijacking

It’s an easy fix for the consumer, but enterprise customers may need IT’s help to mitigate the risk of issues like URL hijacking

url hijacking

When a computer connects to a public Wi-Fi network or an untrusted LAN, a malicious actor could potentially compromise a browser’s HTTPS connection and eavesdrop on URLs such as Dropbox, Google Drive URLs or Password reset URLs.

The fix is easy for a consumer: un-checking the automatic detect setting. But an enterprise user might need to ask the IT department to eliminate this risk. Windows, Mac and Linux computers are all at risk.

Windows: How to reduce the risk of URL hijacking

To prevent this HTTPS URL hijacking on a Windows computer, open the Control Panel and select Internet Properties. Then select the Connections Tab, and in it the LAN settings button. Un-check Automatically detect settings.

 

URL HijackingSteven Max Patterson 

Mac: How to reduce the risk of URL hijacking 

On a Mac select the Apple menu then System Preferences, then Network. Select the network service from the list, for example, Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The select Advanced, then finally deselect Proxies.

How the URL hijacking works

Itzik Kotler and Amit Klein of SafeBreach presented a proof of concept at the Black Hat conference yesterday that demonstrated how a web browser can be exploited to exfiltrate (extract) URLs from HTTP, HTTPS and FTP traffic. Users are reassured seeing https:// preceding the URL in their browser bars after the internet industry campaign two years ago to force websites to move from the clear text HTTP protocol to bidirectional SSL/TLS encrypted HTTPS. According to Kotler and Klein, this may not always be true, especially on public Wi-Fi and untrusted LANs

The LAN settings explained above turn on Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) that automatically looks for a proxy auto-config (PAC) file that chooses the proxy server that is the intermediary through which the browser traffic flows. Many enterprises use this method to point web browsers and other user agents to the proxy server designated for a group of users. Alternatively, malware could insert a PAC file (proxy.pac) onto a computer with WPAD disabled to accomplish the same hijack. The researchers said it would be difficult for antivirus software to detect this type of attack.

When the infected computer connects to a malicious proxy server, the URLs can be exfiltrated. The collection of URLs extends beyond a violation personal privacy. The researchers said password reset URLs could also be intercepted, which could be initiated by a malicious actor who has some information about a user found on the internet, such as an email address or account information acquired through social engineering.

Although the HTTPS traffic between the user’s browser and the website can’t be read, the exploit could open up a two-way channel between the malicious proxy server, placing the computer at risk of further harm if the malicious actors were able to drop additional malware on the infected computer. This malware could be used in a denial of service attack or to steal data.

Avoiding untrusted networks is the best protection. Connecting to a MiFi or smartphone hotspot or using a VPN to connect through an untrusted network will protect from this threat.

Article Provided By: NetworkWorld

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The Best Home Security Cameras of 2016

Security Cameras

See Camera Chart

One of the biggest benefits of a smart home is being able to know what’s going on when you’re not actually there. Whether you’re checking in on your kids, pets, or an exotic jewel collection, a home security camera is a great tool for keeping an eye on things from afar.

Although capabilities vary from device to device, surveillance cameras allow you to monitor what’s going on in your home through live or recorded video. But not all cameras are created equally. Some have alarms or can send you notifications when they detect activity, some offer two-way audio, some are meant to monitor your baby, and some even double as full-on home automation hubs.

We’ve tested lots of home surveillance cameras over the last few years, so we know what’s important to look for. For instance, you want a camera that’s simple to set up and use. Additionally, one of the very first qualities we notice is an attractive—though discreet—design. It’s important that the camera looks like something you actually want in your home, but depending on your needs, you may not want it to stand out too much.

Device support is critical as well. Our favorite cameras allow you to check in from anywhere, whether it’s an app on your phone or a Web browser. Additional features vary from camera to camera, and each of our top picks offer just enough variety to set them apart from the rest of the competition.

Here are some other important factors to consider when buying a home security cam:

The View

Even though 1080p is generally the standard resolution for cameras we’ve tested, and you won’t find any that stream or record in 4K any time soon, there are benefits to cameras with higher resolution sensors. Few home security cameras have optical zoom lenses, but almost all have digital zoom, which crop and enlarge whatever the camera is recording. The more megapixels a camera sensor has, the more you can digitally zoom in and still be able to see things clearly.

Besides resolution, consider the field of view as well. All security cameras have wide-angle lenses, but not all angles are created equal. Depending on the lens’ field of view, it can see between 100 and 180 degrees. That’s a big range in terms of the camera’s vision cone. If you want to watch a large area, you should consider a camera with a very wide field of view.

Connectivity

Most security cameras use Wi-Fi, but not all rely on it exclusively. Some add Bluetooth for local control and easier setup through your smartphone, while others incorporate separate home automation networking standards to interact with other devices, like ZigBee or Z-Wave. For most cameras, all you need to do is follow instructions on an app to connect them to your home network.

Once your camera is connected, you’ll almost certainly be able to access it through your smartphone or tablet. The vast majority of home security cameras today have mobile apps, and many focus entirely around those apps for doing everything. Some have Web portals as well, which add flexibility for accessing your videos and alerts from anywhere.

Cloud Storage

The videos your camera records probably won’t be stored on the camera itself. Most home security cameras use cloud services to store and offer remote access to footage. Some models have microSD card slots so you can physically pull the video from them when you want to review footage, but this is a rare feature.

Keep in mind that not all cloud services are alike, even for the same camera. Depending on the manufacturer, your home security camera will store different amounts of footage for different lengths of time. This service is often a paid subscription on top of the price of the camera itself, though some cameras offer free cloud storage to varying degrees. Cloud storage service is usually offered in tiers, letting you choose between keeping footage for a week, a month, or more.

Price

As you can see from our picks, most of the top-rated home security cameras on the market are roughly in the $200 range, but some of them also require an additional fee to store recorded video in the cloud. We break down any extra fees in our reviews, so it’s worth taking a look at each to find out which one fits your budget. Then again, you can’t really put a price on peace of mind.

Article Provided By: PC

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Why Your Business Needs a Security System

Today’s Security System are not just Bells and Whistles.

It’s a new age for Security Systems and Technology, with today’s systems employing many different kinds of technology. Technology like, Surveillance Cameras, Access Control, devices for the Networking of building systems, Fire Alarms, and Monitoring.

Access Control

Security

Any mechanism or system that manages access through the authorization or revocation of rights to physical or logical assets within an organization is considered access control. Great definition right! But why do I need access control? Well, there can be many different reasons why a company or property owner could need access control. Here are just a few.

  • Who is in the Building.  Know who is in your facility, manage their level of access and meet regulatory compliance objectives.
  • A safe environment for tenants, employees, visitors, and contractors. Protect people, facilities, networks, and assets.
  • Control access to highly secure areas.  Solutions can be designed to protect your facilities that require a higher level security. Areas with sensitive data, networks, and critical or high-value information.
  • Commercial fleet fueling stations. RFID enabled fueling automation system to monitor and control commercial fleet fuel access, cost, and billing.

Cameras

The cameras are most often used for security, but they can also be used for building management. If there’s a broken window, trash left in the hallways (like a couch or old bed), tenants walking pets around the buildings social areas and leaving a mess (you can guess what kind), all of these and more can be monitored with Security Cameras to better help the property manager/owner manage the property or properties if you have more than one location.

Tenants who engage in any kind of misbehavior are caught on camera, identified and can be warned or fined for their actions. Once tenants and their visitors realize they can’t get away with the inappropriate behavior, it will stop. This translates to significant savings in operational costs for the property owners and justifies the cost of the cameras.

Fire Alarms and Monitoring

If there is a fire, a break-in, or if someone pushes a panic button, an alarm monitoring team is aware of it the moment it happens. Emergency agencies can be called into action immediately – police, fire, ambulance, or any necessary support services are filled in on the details about your home or business, and the designated contact is called. All of this happens within minutes of the alarm.

So, Why?

There are many reasons to have a Security System, and security companies try to plan for your needs. But it’s the things in life that happen that you least except that generate the need for a Security System.

So, Why do you need a Security System? Put simply, a Security System is your plan to handle the worst of what life throws at you.

By: Lance Roberts

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