RSA Europe: London tops New York and Paris in wireless access

Skyline showing The Bunker

London beats New York and Paris when it comes to being the most wireless city, with the number of the capital's home networks now overtaking that of corporate ones.

This is according to a Wireless Security Survey released to coincide with the RSA Conference at Excel, London. As well as having the most access points - 12,276, leading New York by more than 3,000 - some 55 per cent of these were identified as belonging to home-users.

However when it came to wireless security, and in particular encryption, London was being left behind. The large majority of business access points were encrypted in Paris (94 per cent) and New York (97 per cent), but this fell to 80 per cent in London.

The survey also looked at the uptake of advanced wireless encryption such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). Here, London (48 per cent) and New York (49 per cent) were far behind Paris, which had 72 per cent of wireless access points using advanced encryption.

Surprisingly, the percentage of all access points in London which used advanced encryption in homes was the same as was used in the business sector (48 per cent).

Sam Curry, vice president in identity and access management at RSA, said that the speed at which ordinary encryption in WEP could be broken meant it was paper-thin protection in the face of sophisticated hackers.

"We would strongly urge wireless network administrators to discount WEP as a viable security mechanism and upgrade to WPA or stronger without delay," said Curry.

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