Highwall raises barriers against wireless intruders

New hardware provides rogue AP detection, even for businesses distributed through multiple floors

High deployment cost remains a problem with current wireless IDSes  and rogue detection solutions, because IDS sensors have to be placed alongside wireless APs deployed throughout the enterprise infrastructure. Competing solutions from AirMagnet and AirDefense have a wider detection radius than the average AP, primarily because they receive, but do not transmit, wireless traffic. Highwall’s RDS (Rogue Detection System) takes a different approach.

Highwall uses more antennas and amplification to get better environmental coverage than its competition. As a result, it not only reduces the number of sensors needed in a single-story environment, but Highwall claims its solution can detect rogue devices anywhere in a five-story building.

The Highwall RDS consists of the Highwall Sentinel, the Highwall Scout, and the Windows-based management console. The Scout is the listening station, with eight directional panel antennas that create a dome of detection rather than a horizontal plane. The amplified Sentinel sensor is analogous to other wireless sensors in accumulating data using 802.11a/b/g, and should suffice if detection isn’t needed for more than one floor. The introductory package includes a Highwall Sentinel, two Scouts, and the management console.

The minuses to Highwall’s solution include a mediocre management interface and the fact that it requires a separate installation of Microsoft IIS and SQL Server to manage the data accumulated by the sensors. These shortcomings are partially overcome through integration with Computer Associates’ UniCenter eTrust and Wireless Site Management products, but that’s no consolation for those who purchase the product directly. The Management Console allows multiple Sentinel sensors to feed to a central console and has several alarm notification levels, by e-mail, SNMP, and Syslog.

Rogue Detection System 2.0

Highwall

Cost: Starting at $10,000

Ship Date: Immediately

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