This month, AirTight Networks’ flagship product, SpectraGuard® Enterprise, achieved FIPS 140-2 validation from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States and the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC).
These standards and guidelines are issued by NIST as Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for use government-wide. NIST develops FIPS when there are compelling Federal government requirements such as for security and interoperability and there are no acceptable industry standards or solutions. See background information for more details.
Simultaneously, AirTight’s SpectraGuard Server passed TIC tests for inclusion on the DISA UC APL. The DISA UC APL is the single consolidate list of products that have completed interoperability (IO) and information assurance (IA) certification. Use of the DoD UC APL allows DoD Components to purchase and operate UC systems over all DoD network infrastructures.
AirTight’s products are deployed worldwide in many of the most security sensitive United States government and defense organizations to assure security and compliance with requirements such as DoD 8420.01, FISMA and guidelines from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Because AirTight products are always kept up-to-date with certifications such as FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria and DISA; government and defense agencies can take advantage of the powerful wireless security technology provided by AirTight.
802.11n, Compliance, DISA UC APL, Federal Government, FIPS 140-2, Wireless security, WLAN networks
Ban of WEP & TKIP
Wi-Fi Alliance has (finally) decided to take some giant steps in improving the state of wireless security. Starting Jan 2011, TKIP will be disallowed on new APs and from 2012, it will be disallowed on all Wi-Fi devices. Come Jan 2013, WEP will not be allowed on new APs and from 2014, WEP will be disallowed on all Wi-Fi devices. This is the good news. But, let us also get to the “bad” news.
PCI, Wireless scanning, Wireless security
With more enterprises deploying wireless LANs and employee-owned WiFi devices flooding enterprises, wireless LAN forensics is becoming a key component of any network forensic audit — whether to prove compliance with a regulation such as PCI DSS or in response to a security incidence. But wireless presents unique challenges to forensic audits.
Last month, at RSA 2010 conference in San Francisco, I had the oppourtunity to discuss this issue with experienced auditor and certified PCI QSA Jim Cowing. Here you can view the video recording of an abridged version of our RSA 2010 talk “Anatomy of a Forensic Audit: How Wireless Changes the Game.”
Let me summarize the highlights from the talk: Read more…
Best practices, Compliance, PCI, Wireless scanning, Wireless security
Much has been said about using ‘Best Practices’ alone to secure enterprise WiFi, including no-WiFi policy. However, as security experts will vouch, most breaches happen because of naive insiders.
Here is a hilarious video that demonstrates the lack of understanding out there regarding WiFi – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cgjvcxn1s4.
Imagine such a person as your employee and ask yourself the following questions.
- Can you expect all your employees to follow the prescribed WiFi best practices?
- Can you be confident that such a person will not connect to a neighboring hotspot, just because his or her desk has spotty WiFi coverage?
- Can you be certain that such a person will not bring in a ‘Linksys’ as advised by the radio host; and plug it into the ethernet under the desk and create a Rogue AP?
- Can you be certain that this person will not connect to both the WiFi and Ethernet at the same time while connected to the hotspot?
If these questions are hard to answer, you must consider Wireless Intrusion Prevention System!
Best practices, Wireless scanning, Wireless security
When talking about wired security, enterprise IT administrators talk about multiple layers of defense such as internet firewalls, VPNs, admission control, email filtering, content filtering, web application scanning and many others. It is like a hacker has to peel multiple layers of an onion before getting to the core. Each layer of security is independent and is preferably sourced from different vendors. Each layer compounds the amount of work that a hacker has to perform to get in.
When considering the security of a wireless network, the same enterprise IT administrators are content with the basic security mechanisms integrated into the wireless LAN infrastructure by vendors such as Cisco Systems and Aruba Networks. IT departments have a hard time understanding why an inner layer of defense for wireless network security is needed in the form of an advanced wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS). The wireless network security posture of an organization is the weakest when the security integrated into wireless LAN infrastructure is the only layer protecting the core network. Without an inner WIPS layer, the core network is open to rogue APs, unauthorized client connections, ad-hoc networks, MAC spoofing and many other attacks that the wireless LAN infrastructure security cannot protect against.
In my previous blog post (5 Wireless Intrusion Detection Questions You Need to Worry About), I talked about the key questions that are related to the detection of Wireless (WiFi) based intrusions in your enterprise. Today, let’s turn the focus on to the other important aspect of WiFi security – Intrusion Prevention. Here are the 5 questions you should ask on wireless intrusion prevention in your enterprise. Let me know if your answer to all of these questions is in the affirmative.
- Does my wireless security solution provide accurate and automatic prevention? If your solution requires a manual intervention for blocking a detected intrusion, you may be too late. Hence, the key to any intrusion prevention solution is the ability to automatically block the intruder. Although this requirement may seem obvious, it is interesting to note that getting this right is non trivial. For example, a poor implementation can end up blocking your neighbor’s communication - highly undesirable and in certain regions, illegal. Unless your security solution can accurately classify WiFi communication (authorized, unauthorized and don’t care/external), you will not be able to achieve this key functionality. Read more…
Wireless scanning, Wireless security