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Wireless devices

Directive
All wireless devices connected to the Shepherd University network must be capable of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA or WPA2) encryption.

Rationale
As noted above, information security is only as strong as its weakest link. The lack of a physical connection between a computer and other network resources presents a particular challenge, as anyone with the proper equipment can easily eavesdrop on the network traffic flowing between the wireless computer (or smart phone) and the access point. Therefore all data transmitted wirelessly must be strongly encrypted.

It is well known in information technology circles that wireless network connections encoded via WEP (wired equivalent for privacy) are very weakly encrypted and should not be considered secure. Obviously the same is true for any wireless connections not using an encryption method. The presence of a proxy server using SSL (such as a hot-spot captive portal page) is not an adequate substitute. As of March 2010, WPA2-encrypted traffic is adequately secure. Certain modes of WPA are subject to brute-force decryption, although we still permit WPA encryption on our network.

All devices manufactured after September 2003 and carrying a Wi-Fi logo or certification are capable of WPA or WPA2. Devices manufactured prior to this date may be capable of WPA with firmware upgrades; please check with your device’s vendor. Please note that privately-owned devices are still subject to the directive on connectivity to Shepherd resources.


Shepherd University | I. T. Services | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, WV | 25443-5000
User Support Desk 304-876-5457 | Main Number 304-876-5245 | email: support@shepherd.edu