Robust Secured Roaming in Wireless Local Area Networks

Robust Secured Roaming in Wireless Local Area Networks

Shaldon L. Suntu (University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China), Nickson H. Odongo (University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China), Samwel M. Chege (University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China), and Obadia K. Bishoge (University of Science and Technology, Beijing, China)
DOI: 10.4018/IJWNBT.2017070102
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Nowadays wireless local area network (WLAN) is the fundamental way of connecting to the internet. Wi-Fi has become an imperative element in our day-to-day life. Wi-Fi Alliance and various vendors are working up to ensure there is high speed and secured mobility in WLANs for roaming users. Real-time applications exchange in offices, health facilities, education sector etcetera are larger photo files, voice over the internet protocol (VoIP), internet of things(Yan, Zhang, & Vasilakos, 2014) and video streaming (Shi, Shen, & Jon, 2002). These services require a high-speed internet connection and fast roaming within the user’s vicinity. To achieve these ingredients, robust roaming and efficient handover between the clients and the access points (APs) through a wireless environment with multiple APs. Security is a challenge in the wireless environment due to the imposters’ ego to intercept and eavesdrop sensitive data while in transit to the receiving end. Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) based devices are expected to sprout vigorously into the market to occupy the uncongested 60GHz frequency band with the aim of decongesting 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.

To ensure interoperability, triband emerged to ensure that there is a fast handover of security keys exchange and frequencies roaming or band roaming in the 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 60GHz devices.

Wireless LAN is the backbone of today’s wireless communication. Clients can only be concomitant to one AP at a time, roaming from AP to AP must be swift for the user to have a seamless experience. Users exchange huge files, converse using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and streaming of the videos. Mobility is one of the challenging factors in the infrastructure network (Mustafa, Mahmood, Chaudhry, & Ibrahim, 2005; Sánchez-Carmona, Borrego, Robles, & Garcia-Vandellós, 2017) for intra-domain and inter-domain clients. Users need to roam through the building seamlessly to avoid service disruption. Long delays degraded the quality of services on demand that requires a minimal handoff latency while the user is roaming. Another critical problem is the security while exchanging the handover keys during the association and dissociation from prior AP to posterior AP. IEEE 802.1X/EAP mechanism is pragmatic in an enterprises network for mutual authentication. WPA2- Enterprise is widely used for scrambling information while in transit.

The study aimed to put into play a secured handoff with minimal latency during the forward and backward roaming process for both horizontal and vertical handovers.

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