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Securing the Burbs

7:00 AM -- Some of you will no doubt have seen the new law from Westchester County in New York that requires businesses to lock down their wireless LANs.

The county is asking any business that uses a customer's financial information to take "minimum security measures" to protect its wireless network. This could be as simple as changing the indentity tag (SSID) of a broadcasting access point, or installing a firewall. Businesses have been given 180 days to comply with the new law, or they face -- gasp -- hundreds of dollars in fines.

Naturally any attempt to protect user data on wireless LAN networks is a good thing, but I can't help thinking this might not be an easy law to enforce or comply with.

A quick scan of my sleepy Brooklyn neighbourhood this morning revealed six or seven hotspots, at least three of which looked as if they could be business users broadcasting on unsecured networks, so they're definitely out there.

But caught betwixt the prospect of savvy hackers who will quite possibly laugh at "minimum security measures," and fines for not implementing these measures, I suspect some businesses may just prefer to switch their access points off.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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