As we become more and more connected to the internet in our day-to-day lives, the days of having dedicated devices to one purpose are fast disappearing. Our means of getting online are most often portable and take on ever-increasing forms, including laptops, tablets, and smartwatches. For WiFi networks, this onset of the Bring-Your-Own-Devices (BYOD) age also brings its own set of problems. Even in workplaces or university settings, there are more devices accessing the network than just the immovable desktops. Either the network is freely accessed by anyone in range or those who know the online access password can use it from multiple devices. This creates a lot of unknowns about what’s going on in a particular network, and to complicate things further, there are sometimes intelligent systems and services, such as automatic building lighting or surveillance systems, that have access as well.
creates the potential for a security fiasco, and much has to go on behind the scenes to keep a WiFi network secure while also being outwardly simple to use. In order to keep the network safe from intrusions that could compromise sensitive data or introduce viruses, it is vital that WiFi network owners know who, what, and how their network is being used. Since this is difficult to achieve without making online access cumbersome, it makes sense to distribute connections and provide different levels of access. In other words, the general population hooking onto the WiFi signal should get the most limited version of access while a confirmed corporate user’s device merits a greater scope.
The best way to achieve this is through the use of Private Pre-Shared Keys (PPSK), a simple authentication measure that can differentiate between the levels of users and assign the appropriate WiFi access without adding barriers to actual network users. With such a system in place, administrators can then monitor the activities of all network users and grant access to regions on a case-by-case basis. This not only restricts what users can do but also provides valuable insight as to how a WiFi network is being used to make security and other related decisions in the future.