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Bluesocket punts wireless security kit

Intruder detection system - at a price

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Bluesocket, the IT security vendor, is to sell wireless monitoring technology alongside its current line of wireless gateway products. The BlueSecure intrusion detection system includes a server and dedicated sensors, which can monitor traffic on 802.11a, b and g networks.

According to Carlos Gomez Gallego, product manager at Bluesocket, the technology gives users visibility over what is happening over the airwaves. This is not possible with conventional (wired) intrusion prevention technology, he said.

Bluesecure detects various types of wireless intrusions, including war-driving attacks, denial of service attacks (DoS), impersonation attacks, and the use of automated attack tools. But the main benefits come from giving users the ability to detect rogue access points and for fault-finding work, Gallego said.

"If users complain that a network is slow this tool will help detect if there is a problem, such as interference from an adjacent system using the same frequency. BlueSecure will detect problems. Our gateway can enforce policies and permissions, so there's a good match," he said.

Several approaches to adding security monitoring function to wireless networks have emerged in recent months. Companies such as AirMagnet supply WLAN analysis product for handhelds and laptops. Other vendors are building intrusion detection technology into access points. Bluesocket hopes to tap into this niche security market with its stand-alone product.

Each BlueSecure 802.11 a/b/g RF Sensor is priced at $695 in the US (£550 or the equivalent of $1,015 in the UK) and the BlueSecure Server is $2,995 (£2,495/$4,600 in the UK), with both available from August. Wireless Gateway and Sensor bundles will also be available in August starting at $7,750 in the US (£5,995/$11,050 in the UK).

Bluesocket's kit cost approximately 50 per cent more in the UK than the US. Is this a case of rip-off Britain? Martin Cassidy, VP of Bluesocket EMEA, denied this and said its pricing reflects market conditions. Even its higher prices in Europe were highly competitive, he claimed.

"We operate a single-tier channel in the US and a two-tier channel in Europe. European channels provide higher technical support which is good for users but there is a cost involved which is reflected in pricing. We're not dissimilar from other vendors in how we look at this," Cassidy said. ®

Related stories

Beware the rogue access points
Switch start-ups turn to WLAN security
Why enterprise WLANs need wireless gateways
WLAN security is still work in progress
Firm adds bandwidth management into the WLAN mix (Bluesocket)

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