My colleague at Forrester, Chris Silva, recently commented upon the recent Air Defense acquisition by Motorola.  Looking at the deal through the security lens, I completely agree with Chris that this will help ease integration of wireless security into wireless infrastructure.  It’s good to see one of the major wireless brands step up and take wireless security seriously.  Perhaps that other major wireless vendor will get the hint…

Upping The IPS Ante

Motorola announced this week its intentions to acquires Wireless IDS/IPS vendor AirDefense.
The acquisition may provide a bit of deja vu to readers who recall the
acquisition of Network Chemistry’s wireless IDS/IPS assets by Aruba
Networks in 2007.

Meru Networks, eschewing acquisition for product introduction made its own announcement
on Monday, announcing the company’s RF Barrier, an active RF management
solution that aims to solve the problem of what the vendor is calling
"leaky RF." The Meru solution actively blocks 802.11 RF from escaping
the physical confines of a WLAN deployment to thwart external "parking
lot" attacks by closing Wi-Fi based attack avenues.

In fact, 2007 – 2008 has been a time focused on shoring up the security
of the WLAN as the networks become more critical to over 50%
enterprises Forrester sees investing in the networks today. As the
networks are more pervasive, moving toward covering the entire physical
environment, and more employees are relying on Wi-Fi to access
corporate data and applications, it’s high-time to secure the WLAN.

In the case of Motorola, the Wi-Fi network is especially critical. As the vendor embarks on selling its message of the all-wireless enterprise,
where WLANs will interconnect not only users to the network, but
networke edge devices — such as WLAN access points — to the network
along with storage, printers and other peripheral devices, the WLAN is
citical and, therefore, a major focus for security.

In markets such as retail, standards like the Payment Card
Industry’s Data Security Standard dictate wireless security, but
compliance and regulation aside, it is becoming easier to secure the
WLAN, regardless of the industry you are in. Vendors are rapily working
to close security gaps with product enhancements and new product
introductions. Look for a broader suite of solutions to address
security coming from your primary network vendor; while this won’t
negate the need to  integrate these add-on network elements, the single
source should ease integration to some degree.

How secure do you feel your organization’s WLAN is today? What are
your concerns either about securing the network or its current lack of