The dark evenings are closing in once again, and the spookiest night of the year is almost upon us. A rattle at the window, a flash of a street light and a slowly turning door handle heralds the appearance of some ghastly ghouls, goblins and monsters outside your house.
But an equally mischievous and malicious set of gremlins are lying in wait to reign terror down on unsuspecting, unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Just like the sunlight that destroys the most terrifying vampire, a little ‘en-lightment’ can save you from attack in these dark days; with the right designs and enchantments, (or pendants and potions), you can keep these threats at bay and your networks safe until day breaks and the world returns to normal.
Bandwidth-sucking fiend that stalks innocent Wi-Fi networks. He appears from nowhere, draining Wi-Fi bandwidth and reducing network performance to a crawl. He is particularly attracted to extreme video and voice streaming and, once identified, seduces his victims into joining his army of night-creatures.
Wi-Fi Scare Rating: 90/100
Fright Power: Sucking the life and soul out of your network, this prince of darkness reduces the capabilities of your precious Wi-Fi devices to empty shells. Once his teeth bite down, you’ll be condemned to walking the earth in the eternal darkness of slow download speeds and demonically delayed communications.
Protective Shield: Application Control - Nosferatu won’t come near your device if he gets even the slightest whiff of soulful network management. So, if you’re managing a Wi-Fi network, make sure you classify and prioritise the traffic that’s running on it. This will ensure Nosferatu can’t get his claws on all your juicy bandwidth and won’t slow network activity down for everyone else.
These ghoulish apparitions stayed hidden for years, but as Wi-Fi performance and capacity have became more critical, these benign apparitions have started to make their presence known. These days, they can have a horrifying impact on network performance. Hauntings start off small and insignificant but soon grow in power until their interference takes over your entire network.
Wi-Fi Scare Rating: 75/100
Fright Power: Ghosts love nothing more than to interfere with Wi-Fi signals and attack Wi-Fi performance - you see they don’t play well with others. Traditional Wi-Fi devices take turns accessing the network, however these ‘other-worldly’ wireless technologies are hidden in all kinds of devices, such as phones, tablets, watches, baby monitors, microwave ovens and even new LTE services. In fact, they’re pretty much everywhere!
Protective Shield: Adaptive Wi-Fi - Keep Wi-Fi ghost interference to a minimum by regulating them back to a level of just acceptable annoyance. Focus your strategy around 5GHz, as many new ghosts still enjoy the 2.4GHz environment. Also, keep a tight rein on your channel usage and power settings too - it’s spooky how many don’t!
The Wi-Fi Zombies
Heards of the walking dead show up at random and love nothing more than feasting on your Wi-Fi services, slowing them down and finally bringing them to a brutal, painful end by just overwhelming their capability.
Wi-Fi Scare Rating: 60/100
Fright Power: Wi-Fi Zombies are slow, but they’re deadly in a large group. They are particularly fond of gathering in large public spaces such as sports stadiums, arenas, airports, train stations and even lecture theatres, where they use their combined power to slow devices down and suck out the brains for connective capabilities. Keep your wits about you and your eyes peeled at all times.
Protective Shield: High Density Wi-Fi - Protect yourself from these threats by making sure there’s enough bandwidth available for everyone - even in the most densely packed public spaces. Install the most current Wi-Fi access points so that you’re keeping pace with end user demands for content-rich media uploads and downloads. Don’t let your network be overtaken by the walking dead!
Your beautiful new ‘Mogwai’ Wi-Fi device is your best, cutest and cuddliest little friend - until you feed it after midnight and it becomes a crazy, insane monster! How can something that helps you plan your day, deal with emails, play your top tunes, stream your favourite TV shows and manage your fitness goals suddenly turn on you and leave a trail of destruction and disorder in its wake?
Wi-Fi Scare Rating: 95/100
Fright Power: Preys on our round-the-clock ‘appetite’ for constantly checking emails, updating our social media and uploading photos. This seemingly irresistible craving that can continue into the wee small hours means we often join public Wi-Fi networks with a dubious, deadly combination of lapsed management and poor security. Once connected, our loveable benign Wi-Fi enabled devices can fall prey to toxic mix of hackers and malware that transforms them into malicious, monstrous creations.
Protective Shield: Secure Personal Network - Use a secure Wi-Fi connection wherever possible. If this is unavailable, always consider which attachments you download and what personal data you access while on unsecured public Wi-Fi.
Jillian Mansolf, Chief Marketing Officer & Vice President EMEA Sales, Xirrus
Image source: Shutterstock/Andrea Danti