RMF Control AC-18: Wireless Access is a cybersecurity control that helps to protect information systems by controlling access to information systems over wireless networks. This control is important because it can help to prevent unauthorized access to information systems and data.
Wireless Access Requirements
The RMF Control AC-18: Wireless Access requirements are specified in NIST Special Publication 800-53, Revision 5. The requirements state that the organization must:
- Establish and document usage restrictions, configuration/connection requirements, and implementation guidance for wireless access;
- Authorize wireless access to the information system prior to allowing such connections;
- Implement cryptographic mechanisms to protect the confidentiality and integrity of wireless connections;
- Monitor and control wireless access;
- Terminate wireless access sessions when no longer needed.
Wireless Access Best Practices
In addition to the RMF Control AC-18: Wireless Access requirements, there are a number of best practices that organizations can follow to improve their wireless access posture. These best practices include:
- Using strong encryption for wireless connections;
- Implementing a risk-based approach to wireless access. For example, you may want to restrict wireless access to certain types of devices or users;
- Monitoring and auditing wireless access activity to identify and respond to suspicious activity;
- Educating users on the importance of wireless access security and how to protect their devices and data.
Benefits of Wireless Access
Wireless access can provide a number of benefits to organizations, including:
- Increased employee productivity: Wireless access can allow employees to work from anywhere, which can increase productivity and flexibility.
- Reduced costs: Wireless access can help to reduce costs associated with cabling and other infrastructure.
- Improved customer service: Wireless access can allow organizations to provide customer support 24/7.
- Increased business resilience: Wireless access can help organizations to maintain operations during disruptions, such as natural disasters or pandemics.
How to Implement Wireless Access
There are a number of ways to implement wireless access. One common approach is to use a wireless access point (WAP). WAPs create a wireless network that devices can connect to.
Another approach to implementing wireless access is to use a cloud-based service. There are a number of cloud-based services that offer wireless access capabilities. These services can be relatively easy to implement and use.
Example of Wireless Access
One example of wireless access is when an employee uses their laptop to connect to their employer’s wireless network at the office. This allows the employee to access resources on the employer’s network, such as files and applications, without having to be physically connected to the network.
Another example of wireless access is when a customer uses their smartphone to connect to the free Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop. This allows the customer to check email, browse the web, and use other online services without having to pay for data service.
RMF Control AC-18: Wireless Access is an important cybersecurity control that helps to protect information systems by controlling access to information systems over wireless networks. By following the RMF Control AC-18: Wireless Access requirements and best practices, organizations can help to improve their security posture, reduce the risk of data breaches, and increase employee productivity and flexibility.
Additional Tips for Implementing and Enforcing Wireless Access
- Use a centralized system to manage wireless access policies and procedures. This will help to ensure that wireless access is implemented and enforced consistently across the organization.
- Implement a risk-based approach to wireless access. This will help to ensure that wireless access efforts are focused on the areas of greatest risk.
- Monitor and audit wireless access activity to identify and respond to suspicious activity. This can be done using a variety of tools and techniques, such as security information and event management (SIEM) solutions and intrusion detection systems (IDS).
- Educate users on the importance of wireless access security and how to protect their devices and data. This can be done through training programs, documentation, and other resources.
By following these tips, organizations can help to ensure that their wireless access is implemented and enforced effectively.