At my work, there is a wireless network that is on the same subnet as the servers, printers and user machines. This wireless network allows users to have access to shared network drives as if the users were on the LAN. The wireless network is given out to guests that come to the company for any period of time.

What type of impact can this have on the company's IT? I already know the security aspect, as anyone can bring in their infected laptop and connect to the environment then from there it could spread to the servers as they are all on the same subnet. What other impacts can this cause?

Can someone not on the domain get the wireless access and get access to the network drives or access the server itself? If so how would they go about doing this?


That is for sure an insecure way to proceed. As I think you know, the wireless network should be separated from the wired domain network. And of course the wireless guest network should be an isolated different one only with internet access (it depends of what your guests need but usually is only internet access).

You can be victim of many different attacks. You can be victim of "layer 2" based attacks like ARP spoofing or starvation attacks. Do you have good network switches with port security or similar? I guess no, so your network is a very good "practice field" for some skilled hacker.

Another tipical attack for Active Directory is a pass the hash attack. It can be easily done if a NTLM hash was previously sniffed and that seems very easy on your network. Using that attack, somebody can easily access to the network shares. The same for the pass the ticket attacks which is he same but for Kerberos authentication.

Definitely, that is a bad design network regarding security but for sure is a very cheap option. I guess is a small company with a limited resources. Anyway could be a good practice to warn then about this and then the company should evaluate the risk in order to proceed (or not) with some changes.

In may opinion (but this is absolutelly personal) the security is one of the most important elements for a company even if is a small one.

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    its a company of 110 staff company with two IT members me being "IT support" with 3 years experience and an ICT manager with over25 years experience im not joking thats what he says, who complained of too much work load so i had to be hired doesn't know what hes doing its sickens me. Anyways i have mentioned this before but no one listens how can i go about this in your opinion with managers above him? – rich piano Aug 3 '17 at 4:46
  • Sadly, some managers only learn by "pain". Maybe nothing will change until a disaster happened. If a "hacking disaster" ocurrs in your company, you'll see how the manager's mind change. I'm not saying "hack to your company"... of course not. But as I said, probably is out of your hands. I know very well the feeling of the small companies. Just let your opinion written by mails or however and that's all probably you can do. :( – OscarAkaElvis Aug 3 '17 at 5:44

I would treat the network as if it was public (what is it basically). So people could perform a man-in-the-middle attack, stealing credentials and other files, infect computers / router etc. with malware such as cryptoware. A skilled person could probably pretty easily (by performing a brute force attack) get access to network drives or access the server.

For every business environment (even private, sometimes!) I would highly recommend using a guest network and a network for personnel only. In your case, I would use a VPN at all times to protect login credentials for yourself and not save any classified files. There is always the risk of getting your computer infected, though.

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