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