AirDefense Toughens Its WLAN Defense

 
 
By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2003-03-11
 
 
 
Wireless LAN security vendor AirDefense Inc. on Monday unveiled two new products designed to give administrators more tools to defend against unauthorized use of the network and rogue access points. Both RogueWatch 3.0 and Guard 3.0 have a slew of new features, many of which are meant to make the system easier to use and manage.

The two new products represent a division of the functionality that used to be found in the companys namesake product. Guard 3.0, which retains most of the high-level management and security capabilities, now also includes features such as roaming policies, designated lists of IP addresses and base stations to either watch or ignore, recognition of Cisco Systems Inc.s LEAP authentication protocol, and support for 802.1x.

Guard and RogueWatch are part of the larger AirDefense solution, which relies on a system of sensors around the WLAN. The sensors communicate with a central appliance in the data center, where both products run.

AirDefense has given RogueWatch some new capabilities as well. The software can now detect both hardware and so-called "soft" WLAN access points. Soft APs are simply laptops that have been configured to act as APs. RogueWatch performs a continuous, real-time audit of the wireless network, taking inventory of every device on the WLAN.

The software can find rogue, or unauthorized, APs and can also discover what the company calls accidental associations. These connections occur when a wireless device is within range of an outside AP and mistakenly associates itself with that AP instead of with one on the corporate WLAN.

"You can have someone in the corner office near a Starbucks sending out his corporate e-mail over the Starbucks network without even knowing it," said Jay Chaudhry, CEO of Atlanta-based AirDefense.

RogueWatch 3.0 also gives administrators the ability to select a particular AP or device on the network and get detailed statistics on its associations and activity. For example, once you select a particular rogue AP, you can see whether anyone on your network has connected to that AP, when they connected and how long they stayed on. Statistics on how much data was transferred between which devices are also available.

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