Wednesday 7 September 2016

WatchGuard Secure Cloud Wi-Fi

Today I attend a WatchGuard wireless training session.  I like to think of myself as a bit of wireless geek, as I have seen a few wireless solutions in my time.  Over three years ago, I created this blog post around Planning a Wireless Network.

I have seen high density wireless solutions, secure wireless solutions, retail solutions, education solutions, hospitality solutions, bean flexing solutions, controller based solutions, cloud controller solutions, cloud managed solutions, etc.

When I'm told that I'll be looking at a cloud-based secure wireless solution from WatchGuard, my mind wondered off the some of market leaders in this area, and I started to analyse what I was being told.

I was told that this solution had a military grade WIPS (Wireless Intrusion Prevention System) which sounded too familiar to me.  You see around 4 years ago I was introduced to a solution which was sold to me in the same way, which was the solutions offering from AirTight Networks, which recently rebranded to Mojo Networks.  It turns out WatchGuard is partnering with Mojo Networks, which assured me that we were looking at one of the most secure wireless solutions available in the market.

The solution is able to detect rouge access points on your network.  A rouge access point is an unauthorised access point plugged into your network, giving wireless access to your network, where you haven't deployed one.  Using patented technology, the wired network will send a packet out of the authorised access points, which can then be detected by the wireless network.  By connecting and analysing both the wired and wireless networks, it is able to detect the access points you have authorised, and disable the ones which are not.

When I attend the AirTight training around 4 years ago, I pulled in a USB access point into the network, and hid it in the wiring.  Look at the picture above and see if you can find the access point.  A physical search of the server room wouldn't have uncovered the rogue access point, but the solution was able to detect and disable the access point in less than a minute.

The WatchGuard wireless solution will give wireless access, wireless security, marketing portals and user analytics.  A very rounded solution already, but combined with the WatchGuard UTM, you have the preferred solution to meet the Friendly WiFi criteria.

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