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Any tips?

3 posts by 2 authors in: Forums > CWSP - Enterprise Wi-Fi Security
Last Post: May 5:
  • So I just passed the CWNA and have the CWSP materials coming on Friday. Any tips for me while I work through the material? Anything you wished you knew when you started? Thanks

  • By Howard - edited: May 6

    There are so many damned 802.11 security options, especially with certificates.   It is a lot easier to remember if you have some actual installed networks and client devices to install and test. with.

    I feel it helps if you have one reliable client device that is amenable to many different  security possibilities.   Unfortunately, many devices support only a small number of options.   What you need from that aspect, is a commercial product, that has a wide installed base in at least one market segment, and supports nearly every security possibility.

    Wireless printers from Zebra Technologies fit that requirement, are extremely reliable, and are not that expensive in a used condition.  They have small receipt printers weighing only ounces, to behemoths that need their own desks and weigh over 70 pounds.  I do suggest a receipt, as opposed to a card printer, because they can work with anyone's thermal paper.   On the other hand, card printer media, especially the ribbons can become very expensive.

    You will also need at least one RADIUS server which are built into some AP's.  I recommend finding yourself a used Cisco AP.  There are thousands out there, which can often be got for free.   It is not necessary to have the latest /n,/ac, or /ax model.  You'll be testing securities, not performance . There are also free versions of RADIUS available. 

    I spent over 10 years working on over 40 versions of ZEBRA printers, testing both wired and wireless versions - along with many of their competitors products.    These printers can literally be configured with hundreds of different wireless parameters.   I know as I tested them as part of Zebra's QA organization.   My specialty may have been 802.11 PHY, but believe me we saw every possible problem - some I  intentionally introduced. 

    Do NOT get one of the very newest printers, which are  only configurable over wireless.   And if you ever do put one of their printers into a rare Zombie state, there is a return to factory procedure.

    Another important factor is documentation.   Zebra's wireless options are covered in a separate document more than 300 pages long.  It is down loadable off the Internet.   The commands are in CLI format, which is both good and bad.  The manual is 99.9% complete except for "hidden" commands, which have been omitted mostly due to FCC limitations.

    From a (large) viewpoint, the one thing that really annoyed me with this manual, is it's inane brevity.  The simplest  example, might be  "supported channels", where it supports 1,2,3,... .   It won't say anything about how your choices may affect performance (which for 2.4 GHZ you should set to 1,6,11 to insure the fastest roaming).  You can definitely program in some interesting incompatibilities. 

    If nothing else, figuring out the possibilities may drive you crazy, but at least that should help you memorize the different securities requirements.    Unfortunately, as a commercial product you will not get the greatest customer support, unless you have a support contract - which of course makes it all the more fun right - ha.   But you will learn !

    I also suggest making up your own set of flash cards to practice with.   The stack I had for the CWSP was only surpassed in size by the one I had made for the CISSP.

    Best of luck.

  • Howard- Thanks for all that info. I have some enterprise gear so I should be ok with that. Obviously I know that everyone is different and have different difficulties but your insight is helpful. I'm hoping to hit the studies hard this weekend so I think that will help with identifying where my shortcomings are. I know I'm going to have dig deep as security isn't my strongest topic. One thing I do have going for me is I'm usually really good about reading a topic and then deeply understand it. We shall see how things go. IT's going to be a wild ride to CWNE.

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