AirMagnet Beefs Up IPS

AirMagnet Inc. this week will introduce the latest version of its wireless intrusion prevention software.

AirMagnet Inc. this week will introduce the latest version of its wireless intrusion prevention software, which includes new client blocking capabilities and better integration with gear from Cisco Systems Inc.

AirMagnet Enterprise 5.1 ties into Ciscos WLAN (wireless LAN) management software, known as Wireless LAN Solution Engine, or WLSE. The AirMagnet software can now automatically add Cisco-managed access points to AirMagnets access control list, meaning they are automatically eliminated as rogue access points. This gives IT managers more time to focus on actual potential security breaches, said AirMagnet officials.

Cisco recently released its APIs for WLSE to numerous third-party software companies. AirDefense Inc., which competes with AirMagnet, announced integration with WLSE in November.

Officials at AirMagnet, of Sunnyvale, Calif., said they will continue integrating their products with Ciscos as Cisco makes APIs available.

Last month, Cisco acquired WLAN switch maker Airespace Inc., in large part for the startups management software capabilities. Cisco officials in San Jose, Calif., have said that there are plans to integrate Ciscos software with Airespaces, which means that the future of WLSE is uncertain. In the meantime, analysts say it makes sense for third-party vendors to support it.

"They are, after all, No. 1 in WLANs," said Craig Mathias, an analyst at Farpoint Group, in Ashland, Mass. "It really doesnt matter how long the WLSE is around; Cisco is an important ally to have."

Enterprise 5.1 also integrates with Ciscos Remote Data Exchange Protocol, which ties into the CiscoWorks security management suite, AirMagnet officials said. Furthermore, the new software allows automatic blockage of laptop computers running in an ad hoc mode as makeshift access points.

"Its easy to turn off ad hoc mode," Mathias said. "Unfortunately, its also easy to turn on, so detecting and dealing with this potentially huge security hole is important."


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