Firm adds bandwidth management into the WLAN mix

Bluesocket on European reseller recruitment drive

Bluesocket is aiming to make wireless LANs both secure and easier to manage by offering policy enforcement and bandwidth management features on its line of wireless gateway devices.

The company, which is touring Europe recruiting resellers this week, is promoting its flagship product, the WG-1000, as a means of offering secure mobility as WLANs are rolled out throughout an enterprise.

Flaws in the WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) protocol have been well publicised and recently the security of the 802.1X standard, which is backed by Cisco, has come under the microscope.

Martin Cassidy, vice president of marketing at Bluesocket, said that deployment of wireless LANs is taking off but must be backed by education about best security practices to prevent drive by hacking becoming even more of a menace.

"Users don't appreciate how insecure wireless LANs can be. WEP has been cracked and 802.1X is likely to be cracked. Its very difficult to say anything but IPSec is secure," Cassidy said.

The WG-1000 supports IPSec network level encryption, but differs from VPN boxes in that it allows users to roam between sub-nets. VPN products do not support PPTP (Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol), unlike the WG-1000, and so can not provide better security to handheld personal organisers (PDAs), Bluesocket argues.
Bluesocket provides role-based access control by which users can be authenticated against a local database (for standalone operation) or an existing corporate database through a username/password log-on combination. The WG-1000, which sits between an enterprise's wireless access points and its corporate LAN, manages the authorisation process allowing different categories of users to be given access to different parts of the network.

Bluesocket's role-based approach enables different levels of access control, encryption and Class of Service to be assigned to different individuals or groups of people accessing the wireless LAN. For example, visitors to a corporation may be allowed to access the Internet at only low data rates.

Configured by using a Web interface, Bluesocket's WG-1000 Wireless Gateway allows for the central management of a WLAN containing both 802.11b and Bluetooth access points. The WG-1000 is also compatible with future WLAN standards, such as 802.11a, 802.11g.

Early adopters of Bluesocket's technology include KPMG Consulting. ®

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