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Guidelines for Securing Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)



Murugiah P. Souppaya, Karen Scarfone


A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a group of wireless networking devices within a limited geographic area, such as an office building, that exchange data through radio communications. The security of each WLAN is heavily dependent on how well each WLAN component--including client devices, APs, and wireless switches--is secured throughout the WLAN lifecycle, from initial WLAN design and deployment through ongoing maintenance and monitoring. The purpose of this publication is to help organizations improve their WLAN security by providing recommendations for WLAN security configuration and monitoring. This publication supplements other NIST publications by consolidating and strengthening their key recommendations.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-153
Report Number


Wireless Local Area Network, WLAN, IEEE 802.11, 802.11, access points, AP, wireless networking, wireless networking security


Souppaya, M. and Scarfone, K. (2012), Guidelines for Securing Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed March 3, 2024)
Created February 20, 2012, Updated March 1, 2021