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Impulse Point 5.0 Improves Aruba Wireless Security

Impulse Point, a company whose technology provides network access control (NAC), has introduced an upgrade of its SafeConnect service that regulates access to wireless networks. Impulse, which began serving college campuses where students seek wireless connectivity for myriad devices, is now selling to the enterprise markets as employees in the workplace seek to do the same.

NAC enables single sign-on to wireless networks, identifying the device, the user and the network access privileges they enjoy. Depending on the device, the user and the restrictions placed on it, the device may be quarantined to only some parts of the network such as Internet access only for guests. Features new to version 5.0 for Aruba include more granular policy control and reporting for additional devices such as smartphones, an improved policy reporting dashboard for tracking compliance with security rules, such as HIPAA in health care and PCI in the payments industry, and a new configuration and administration portal.

Impulse's SafeConnect 5.0 is network access control (NAC) technology that provides enhanced integration for wireless networks enabled by Aruba Wireless Controllers. although SafeConnect also supports networks served by Cisco Systems, Meru Networks, Motorola and others. The enhanced integration function for those other networks will eventually be added.

Impulse is branching out from the education market into the enterprise because of the consumerization of IT at businesses and other organizations. As employees begin using smartphones, Apple iPad tablet computers and other disparate devices for work, the enterprise has to accommodate them. Before SafeConnect 5.0 was developed, Impulse would have to connect to the wired network routers and switches to provide NAC to the wireless network. Now, it can log onto an Aruba wireless network without interacting with the wired network.

SafeConnect can be purchased as a complete system plus the cost of a support contract, but is also delivered as a managed service, meaning that Aruba installs on-premises equipment on the customer's network but manages the service remotely. The list price for SafeConnect's NAC-as-a-Service begins at $15,000 for 250 devices and includes hardware, software and ongoing maintenance, including support and upgrades.