King, founder of Proxim Inc., has expanded AirTight's reach by broadening the scope of the Spectra suite of tools that Wibhu announced last year, giving the tools additional wireless-LAN-monitoring capabilities to improve enterprise network security. AirTight, which has shifted its corporate headquarters to San Jose, Calif., but employs 70 of its 80 staffers in Pune, has pulled in $10.25 million in venture funding from such firms as Walden International, Trident Capital, Granite Ventures and Blueprint Ventures to support its mission.
SpectraGuard 2.0 uses the live RF coverage maps from the original Spectra tools in combination with auto-classification technology and rogue-location tracking to provide a single tool that classifies access points and clients, tracks access point locations and prevents intrusion. The full hardware and software solution includes a hardware system that sits behind a Layer 2 switch for policy management; two radio platforms, with dual antennas, that act as sensors and specialized access points; and dedicated software that brings together all functions of the previous Spectra family with enhanced security features.
"We will continue to support customers of the existing SpectraPlan and SpectraMon families, but the focus of AirTight will be on this fully integrated security system," King said. "The customer will be the enterprise network manager who wants to identify properly authorized access points, misconfigured access points and rogue access points the network administrator doesn't know about. In fact, even the enterprise that has banned Wi-Fi could use this tool to identify access points that employees have brought into the network without authorization."
Filtering friend from foe
The policy management server, working in conjunction with the distributed sensors, can properly distinguish nearby Wi-Fi networks not on the network from rogue networks that represent a true threat. With first-generation Wi-Fi intrusion-detection systems from competitors, King said, a neighboring WLAN with a strong signal might be identified as hostile. With the AirTight approach, by integrating real-time RF planning tools and sensors with the policy management hardware, the network can filter out neighboring Wi-Fi networks with service set IDs that are not on the network and distinguish them from rogue subnetworks trying to piggyback on the corporate LAN.