AirTight targets low-end wireless customers

Wireless network security is becoming big business for vendors catering to large enterprises, but small and midsize organizations have so far not had many options for the same level of protection. AirTight Networks, though, is trying to fill that gap with the latest version of its SpectraGuard Sentry product.

Sentry, a stand-alone sensor that provides round-the-clock monitoring of the 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless bands, includes the same intrusion-prevention technology found in the company's more extensive enterprise-level product.

It automatically classifies all Wi-Fi devices within its range based on policies set by an organization's security or information technology administrator, and then sets protections against rogue access points, unauthorized matches with mobile client devices and ad-hoc connections, among other things.

AirTight pointed to a recent Computer Associates survey of 440 companies in Europe and the United States that shows that most small and midsize business manage their security processes manually, and therefore often neglect them.

Small and midsize "users have a unique set of problems in that their Wi-Fi networks are subject to all the same types of attacks as a large enterprise but can't afford the expense associated with most enterprise-class solutions," said David King, AirTight's chairman and chief executive officer.

Users can typically get Sentry up and running in as little as 15 minutes through a Web interface that leads them through the setup procedure, the company said, and then can configure alert notices to their needs, including e-mail notification.

Sentry is compatible with all Wi-Fi infrastructure, firewalls and virtual private networks and works with access points from any wireless service provider, AirTight said. A single unit costs $595.

At the same time, the company also announced the newest versions of its SpectraGuard Enterprise product, which delivers predefined compliance reports for the Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability acts, and Defense Department Directive 8100.2 regulations.

For new customers, a starter kit including a SpectraGuard Enterprise server and two sensors starts at $7,500.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

NEXT STORY: Auditors find IRS security holes

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