Self-Managing and Personal Defenses

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While other companies like WildPackets and AirMagnet started out with handheld units for monitoring, and then moved up to distributed, enterprise wide products, AirDefense of Atlanta is going in the other direction. This week, the company announced its first "mobile, personal" product for use by individuals with Windows systems to pinpoint problems.

The difference, says Jay Chaudry, executive chairman and co-founder of AirDefense, is that the AirDefense Personal software will integrate directly with AirDefense Enterprise, sharing data back and forth— a capability he says isn't available from the competition. By itself, the Personal edition will detect up to 50 wireless vulnerabilities.

In addition, the company has several new upgrades for the 6.0 version of the AirDefense Enterprise product, a system with an appliance at the center and various hardware sensors out on the network for monitoring.

Using policies, the system can now disconnect rogue APs and ad hoc stations as needed on the wireless side (using directed, "surgical precision" DDoS type methods) or just disconnecting something on the wired side using some newly integrated infrastructure switching. Rogue analysis is much more advanced, with all of it automated behind the scenes. They have a patent out on indentifying them, using a "rogue threat index," and they'll also include a location-based module for tracking the location of the rogues.

"We deal with all of them through the threat index," says Chaudry. "For example, if my neighbor's AP doesn't do anything [to me], I leave it. But if a user connects to it, I want to know."

The system is set up to handle 200 threats, including many on the wired, Layer 2 side.

Also new is an automated policy compliance function, where the system can fill out forms used in tracking regulartory compliance, everything from HIPAA to the FDIC to government issues in the DoD and elsewhere.

AirDefense Enterprise 6.0 and AirDefense Personal will ship later this month. The cost for Enterprise with four sensors (enough to cover 100,000 square feet) is $6,995, though maintenance plan subscribers get the upgrade for free. There a is separate cost for AirDefense Personal.

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