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Palm Wi-Fi PDA gets Aegis security

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Palm's Tungsten C Wi-Fi PDA is now backed by Meetinghouse's Aegis enterprise-oriented WLAN access authentication software, the network security specialist said today.

Aegis is often touted as a key corporate security component. It's based on the 802.1x security standard, and it features Cisco's Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP) authentication scheme, allowing wireless devices to provide the same level of authentication security as other network clients. LEAP forces both client and server to prove their bona fides to each other before allowing a connection to be maintained between them.

As an 802.11b device, the Tungsten C's security provisions are limited to Wired Equivalent Protection (WEP), the largely distrusted protocol built into early Wi-Fi standards. In an attempt to improve the situation, the Wi-Fi Alliance launched Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), a subset of the stringent 802.11i WLAN security protocol due to be ratified as a standard early next year.

As yet, the Tungsten C does not offer WPA, so the availability of Aegis should go a long way toward assuring enterprises that the PDA can be used as a secure client, along with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Pocket PC devices, all of which are supported by Aegis.

Curiously, Meetinghouse's press release states that Aegis for the Tungsten C "will be available starting mid-July 2003", so it should be available now, seeing as how we're half way through August already. However, when we visited the company's site today, only the beta version was available for download, along with a Solaris release, we note.

Aegis' server component is available for Linux, Solaris, and Windows XP and 2000.

The Palm client will cost $29.95, though volume discounts are available to corporates buying in bulk. ®

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