Software-Based WLAN Sensors
During our consulting engagements with government, financial and retail organizations we continue to hear that they know they need and should deploy a wireless intrusion detection system (WIDS) / wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) solution but they just can’t afford it. Even after negotiating the best pricing from vendors and following most efficient deployment methods the hardware, cabling, switch ports and manpower requirements makes it too costly.
To reduce the cost of a dedicated WIDS / WIPS solution some organizations leverage the scanning features of access points and utilize them as “part time” or dedicated sensors. This is only possible for organizations that have an enterprise WiFi network and even then, the density of access points is usually not at the level needed for a proper wireless monitoring.
For smaller organizations, using WiFi scanners and performing “war walks” to discover rogue WiFi devices is an option. This method is not practical for large organizations because the area that needs to be covered is too large and the manpower needed to perform the monitoring for 24 hours a day / 365 days is year is impossible.
For large organizations the only option is to deploy a continuous monitoring solution that is able to scan the organization’s entire air space with distributed WiFi sensors.
Cloud WLAN Security Using Software Sensors
After running into this budget issue way too many times we decided to come up with a solution for organization that need a continuous monitoring solution but just can’t afford the traditional hardware based sensor WIDS / WIPS solutions.
The results of our efforts are the WLANController service and client. WLANController.com monitoring solution has two components, a software sensor agent that transforms Windows / Mac OS X / Android based computers and devices into WiFi scanners and a web based dashboard that can manage multiple devices from a single graphical user interface.
The WLANController Dashboard and client make the deployment and management of large dedicated WiFi monitoring easier and low cost. We eliminated the need for any new hardware and software (other than our software sensor agent) by using the WiFi scanning capabilities available in Windows, Mac OS and Android.
This software only WLAN security solution has been available for use at no cost for three software sensors since 2010. You can download software sensor agents from WLANController.com
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Filed under: WLAN Security