Sophos Debuts AP 5 Wireless Access Point

The AP 5 wireless access point can support up to five users and can be connected to Sophos' unified threat management (UTM) platform.

Data security specialist Sophos released AP 5, the latest version of its wireless access point (WAP), which supports up to five users and connects via a USB port to the company's Remote Ethernet Device (RED) to create a secured wireless branch-office solution aimed at small and midsize businesses (SMBs). At the main office, wireless security is controlled through Sophos' Unified Threat Management (UTM) platform to ensure compliance with company security policies.

The AP 5 supports the 2.4GHz frequency band and is compliant to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 b/g/n WLAN standards. It can transmit a single Service Set Identifier (SSID) (a 32-character alphanumeric key uniquely identifying a wireless LAN) and delivers wireless data rates up to 150Mbps. Sophos said it also plans to enable the UTM appliance to connect to the AP 5 in order to extend the platform's capabilities.

Sophos Access Points forward wireless traffic to the UTM appliance, where all security applications run, allowing wireless clients to obtain the same level of UTM security as if they were physically connected to the LAN. Network protection includes configurable firewall and intrusion-protection systems to protect against denial-of-service attacks, sophisticated worms and hacker exploits, as well as corporate email protection, Web protection and server protection.

"One of our most requested feature enhancements was to extend the innovative Sophos RED devices by adding WLAN capabilities," Martin Becker, product manager of Sophos, said in prepared remarks. "With the AP 5, we are now meeting this demand, and small branch offices can now experience the same level of wireless security that larger branch offices and headquarters already experience."

In an effort to tap into the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) security services market, the company recently launched the latest version of its mobile-device-management (MDM) solution, Mobile Control 2.5. According to a recent Cisco IBSG Horizons Study, 95 percent of companies allow employee-owned devices in some shape or form, with 84 percent providing some level of support, and 36 percent providing full support for these devices. While BYOD initiatives are expanding in companies of all sizes, corporate data protection and security is a rising concern for IT departments.

The platform can be integrated with existing IT infrastructure by supporting the use of directories, such as Active Directory, to automatically assign newly registered devices to existing groups and apply the associated policies to them. The solution is available as a subscription license or as part of the company's Complete Security Suite, which combines endpoint, data, email, Web, server and mobile protection in one license.