What is WIPS (wireless intrusion prevention system)? - Definition from WhatIs.com


WIPS (wireless intrusion prevention system)

Part of the Network security glossary:

A wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) is a second tier of security that protects a network from intrusion from an attacker accessing the network via Wi-Fi.

WIPS hardware often looks much like a rack server while the associated sensors resemble Wi-Fi access points. However, instead of serving as a connection point, a WIPS sensor monitors the radio spectrum in its environment and takes automatic actions to protect the network. While WIPS features and appearance can vary, they generally overlay the existing wireless network with dedicated hardware and an application whose sole purpose is to mitigate malicious events. Some network access points have WIPS technologies that monitor in their spare time.

Most stand-alone WIPS systems share the same fundamental components:

  • Sensors -- spread throughout the Wi-Fi network, monitor the radio spectrum and forward logs back to a central management server.
  • Management server -- one or more servers that allow access to the console to coordinate the monitoring process and manage the WIPS. These servers also receive information captured by the sensors and take appropriate defense actions based on this information.
  • Database server – Stores and organizes the information captured by the sensors.
  • Console -- The interface that lets users and administrators control the WIPS.

Aside from being a security layer, WIPS can also monitor performance and point out access points with setup errors. While WIPS provide many valuable features and protections, especially to enterprise, they can be quite costly. With hardware, applications, subscriptions and training all factored in, an enterprise with 250 access points might spend as much as $100,000 on a complete WIPS solution.

This was last updated in July 2014
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • due diligence

    - Due diligence definition: Due diligence is the process of systematically researching and verifying the accuracy of a particular statement. In the business world, due diligence is required to valida... (WhatIs.com)

  • Misfortune Cookie

    - Misfortune Cookie is a firmware vulnerability in some routers that makes it possible for an attacker to gain administrative privileges and attack the devices and, through them, the network.   (WhatIs.com)

  • embedded system security

    - While trends like BYOD, the IoT and automation speed ahead, the security of embedded systems often lags. As attacks on embedded systems and firmware become more common, however, it becomes increasi... (WhatIs.com)


  • Network security

    - Terms related to network security, including definitions about intrusion prevention and words and phrases about VPNs and firewalls.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About WIPS (wireless intrusion prevention system)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.