The Pipeline

Security is in the air
Wireless networking has come a long way from the days of a few experimental networks installed on school campuses.

The technology has reached the enterprise level, and in addition to obvious concerns about security, administrators must address a host of other issues — from wireless interference to the weather. Users expect a wireless network that behaves like a wired one, with reliable performance and security.

AirMagnet’s AirMagnet Enterprise 7.0 addresses those concerns and more by combining three security and monitoring components into one product: radio frequency spectrum analysis for detecting the source of interference, weatherproof sensors for monitoring outdoor networks and remote data sharing for network monitoring and analysis.

The spectrum analysis component, called Spectrum Sensor, is significant because it’s the first enterprise monitoring platform that combines wireless local-area network analysis and radio frequency spectrum analysis in one device. That means the software can tell administrators whether a problem resides in the network itself or is coming from an external device such as a cordless phone or microwave oven.

“Lots of other products share the same part of the spectrum as Wi-Fi,” said Wade Williamson, product marketing manager for AirMagnet. “You can pull this [feature] up and know for sure what kind of problem you’re dealing with.”

The weatherproof sensors are noteworthy. AirMagnet is the only vendor offering them, Williamson said. The sensors are waterproof, temperature-tolerant and use Power over Ethernet, which means they need no external power source.

Another new feature, Mobile Site Analysis, allows any laptop PC to function as a temporary sensor for real-time local troubleshooting and live data capture in the field. Technicians can simply download information about policy and monitoring from AirMagnet Enterprise rather than manually configuring a separate monitoring tool.

A significant feature of interest to government users is a reporting tool that enables agencies to document and prove compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.

Lost and found
As long as people lose data files, vendors will keep pace by introducing ever more sophisticated recovery software. We don’t believe such vendors will lack business any time soon.

One such vendor is SoftLogica, which recently announced Handy Recovery 3.0. The software uses an interface similar to that of Microsoft Windows Explorer to browse the contents of a disk.

After the software analyzes the disk, it shows deleted files and folders along with nondeleted ones. It also shows the probability of successful recovery for each file.

Handy Recovery 3.0 can recover files from Secure Digital, CompactFlash, SmartMedia and MultiMedia cards.

New features in Version 3.0 include the ability to scan disks for more than 45 file types, a sector view that lets you browse the low-level disk content and an option to save a recovery session.

Another interesting new feature focuses on file records. Each file on a disk has an accompanying record that contains information about that file. When you delete a file, its record is not usually destroyed immediately. Most recovery products use those file records to recover the files themselves.

If the file records are gone, however, some programs might not be able to recover the files. Handy Recovery 3.0 is noteworthy because it can perform in-depth disk scanning to find the file records even after they have been deleted.

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