Research Tools

With the integration of networks, the characteristics expected of the integrated network are a combination of both networks. The integrated network is expected to work with the same simplicity and efficiency as a WLAN network but with the security implementations of a 3G network. However a 3G-network security introduces overhead on the network resources that are not desirable in the integrated network. Also when there is an access from one network to another, the overall security profile of the integrated network is that of the weaker part of the network, in this case, the WLAN network.

There is a need for the use of the AAA method, which is simple in operation in terms of the message handshakes required and delay introduced and at the same time secure enough to match the 3G network security requirements. The objective of this research is to: ? Evaluate the current AAA mechanisms available in terms of its capability, ? Recommend the best option for WLAN-3G network in terms of the efficiency and the security effectiveness. Methodology The methodology for identification of suitable AAA function involves the following: ? Evaluation of the currently selected methodologies used – UMTA-AKA, WLAN-EAP

These protocols are evaluated in terms of the – overhead required to handle the mechanism and – strength of the method – infrastructure required to support the system in terms of network elements. ? Identification of other methodologies used in other technologies and networks ? Profiling of the different technologies in terms of the capabilities, limitations and characteristics ? Establishment of minimum requirements of 3G-WLAN network ? Comparison of profile to the minimum requirements established and selection of methodologies ? Recommendation of modifications required in the methodologies to suit to WLAN-3G environment.

Various tools and resources will be employed during the course of this research, including: ? Reference implementations of AAA functions. ? Simulation software for evaluation of the robustness and strength of the AAA functions. ? Standardisation documents that provide evaluation of the AAA methodologies. ? Commercial products that employ AAA functions; such as WLAN access points and WLAN user equipments. ? Software protocol analysers for checking the message flow and function. Expected Results. This research will aim at providing guidance to operators and vendors, on the use of AAA functions for 3G-WLAN networks.

Specifically, the following results expected at the end of this research: 1. Identification of suitable AAA function for use in integrated WLAN-3G networks 2. Recommendations of modifications required for the current implementation of the AAA function.

References

A Guide to Wireless Network Security: White Paper. http://techlibrary. networkcomputing. com/rlist/920045790_12/sort_by/doc_type/IP- Networks. html Wireless Networks Evolution, Vijay Garg, 2002, Prentice Hall. http://www. cs. columbia. edu/~charles/publication/ft-concept. pdf http://fiddle. visc. vt. edu/courses/ecpe6504-