Making wireless LAN security air tight

Tuesday, 3 December 2002, 2:10 PM EST

Losing sleep lately? With rogue wireless LAN access points popping up every time you turn around it's easy to understand why. Securing the ether is becoming job No. 1.

One approach that's gaining favor is to use security gateways to lasso groups of access points. These boxes are available from a handful of start-ups, including Bluesocket, Cranite Systems, Fortress Technologies, ReefEdge and Vernier Networks. As a single sentry, the wireless security gateway might provide a firewall and support for authentication and encryption. Some products, such as those from Bluesocket and ReefEdge, can manage wireless bandwidth by enforcing quality-of-service restrictions on bandwidth use or application types.

It's not only the all-in-one aspect of these security appliances that appeals to early adopters. Many organizations say the gateways complement existing security resources such as VPNs and directories used to authenticate users of Ethernet LANs and enterprise applications.

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