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AirMagnet Achieves FIPS Certification

AirMagnet re-confirmed their commitment to government and security-conscious
customers with their latest announcement regarding achieving FIPS 140-2
certification for their Enterprise sensors.
This is not AirMagnet's first
demonstration. In September 2005 AirMagnet achieved FIPS 140-2 Level 2
certification for their SmartEdge Sensor 5010 and 5012 running software

release 5.2.0-2928.



Since that time these sensors have undergone two major code revisions. Customers such as
federal agencies and certain government contractors that require FIPS 140-2
certification are only allowed to upgrade to minor and dot releases, but
major ones require re-certification. AirMagnet's latest FIPS 140-2 Level 2
certification brings customers up to release 7.5.0-6285, very nearly the
latest available version, and adds their 5020 and 5023 sensors.

At this time just the four sensors and their communication is certified.
According to Wade Williamson, AirMagnet Director of Product Management,
customers are most concerned about the large numbers of remote devices which
may be spread out all over the facility, country, or even the world. On the
other hand, there are only a few servers placed in just a few locations and
secured within a data center. Server certification will happen eventually,
shared Williamson, and a quick check listed AirMagnet Enterprise Server on
the NIST's FIPS 140-2 pre-validation page.

More significantly for AirMagnet, FIPS 140-2 certification is a
pre-requisite for Common Criteria. Common Criteria is a framework for where
users can specify their security requirements, vendors can then implement
and make claims about the security attributes of their product, for which
they are evaluated. Competitors AirDefense and AirTight both have products
that are EAL2 (Evaluation Assurance Level 2) certified, which describes a
low to medium level of independently assured security regarding design and
test results. AirMagnet is already engaged in the process, says Wade
Williamson.

There are no other wireless IDS/IPS vendors that have been FIPS 140-2
certified, though AirDefense is in process for one of its own sensors. It
appears that even if an organization is required to purchase a FIPS 140-2
certified wireless IDS/IPS system, AirMagnet's competitors have still been
able to gain a seat at the table, and even sales, by demonstrating an
intention to get certified. It appears that completing FIPS 140-2
certification is not necessarily a strictly enforced requirement. You can
be sure that AirMagnet will be beating its own drum as it engages
security-conscious customers.

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