CA Shows Beta Wireless Site Management Tool

By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2004-05-24 Print this article Print

The tool, demonstrated by CTO Yogesh Gupta at the company's CAWorld conference, is capable of managing encryption keys across all wireless devices and access points and preventing unauthorized access through the use of virtual security zones inside the ne

LAS VEGAS—Yogesh Gupta used his keynote at Computer Associates CAWorld conference here Monday morning to demonstrate a new wireless LAN (WLAN) security and management tool that is capable of managing encryption keys across all wireless devices and access points and preventing unauthorized access through the use of virtual security zones inside the network. Gupta, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Computer Associates International Inc., continued to hammer on the twin themes of management and integration that interim CEO Ken Cron and other executives have been emphasizing in their speeches at the show.
Much of Guptas speech was devoted to laying out the ways in which CA software and solutions can be used to help simplify the management of large, heterogeneous networks. The forthcoming Unicenter Wireless Site Management tool that Gupta demonstrated is designed to help administrators harden their WLANs through better security policy management and enforcement. The tool requires a small agent on each wireless device and includes a central console that generates a physical map of the WLAN with each access point and client device. Click here to read about CAs push to put the focus back on its products. Once a device is connected to the network, the administrator can place the device in an Access Zone, which defines the physical boundaries inside which that device is allowed to access the WLAN. Once outside that zone, the device will be denied access to all network resources. During the demonstration, a CA employee running the central console portion of the software put Guptas tablet PC inside an Access Zone that comprised about half of the stage in the auditorium. As soon as he walked 15 feet across the stage and moved outside that zone, the PC lost its connection to the network; the connection was restored once he stepped back into the designated area. The Trusted Computing Group is working on a spec to secure wireless networks. Click here to read more. After the successful demo, Gupta made a show of wiping some imaginary sweat from his forehead. "Beta demos," he said, shaking his head. "You never know." The new tool also can manage the encryption keys for every device on the WLAN, saving the administrator the task of having to manually generate, deploy and rotate the keys. Wireless Site Management is in beta right now, and Gupta did not announce a timeline for general availability. For insights on security coverage around the Web, check out Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog. Gupta also showed off some new capabilities in the upcoming 3.1 release of Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), which helps streamline the management of large Web services deployments. The new version will include a feature that monitors the response times and service levels of various Web services and maps their performance over time. Fittingly enough, customers will be able to buy WSDM as a service through CAs Web site, which will not require any software installations or downloads. Check out eWEEK.coms Mobile & Wireless Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis.

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