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Wireless LANs face greater risk than wired networks: Fortinet Malaysia

AvantiKumar | March 21, 2010
Use secure wireless LAN strategy with thin access points'

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 MARCH 2010 Wireless LANs are at greater risk compared to wired networks, according to network security and unified threat management (UTM) firm Fortinet Malaysia.

Wireless LANs [local area networks] face higher risks as compared to wired networks resulting in data leakage, denial of service attacks or overuse of bandwidth causing network performance degradation, said Fortinet country manager, Malaysia & Brunei, Eryin Halmen.

In fact, wireless traffic needs more protection because it is a shared medium, which provides greater opportunity for network risks such as data leakage, denial of service attacks or the overuse of bandwidth causing network performance degradation, he said.

Halmen added that companies should use thin access control points. For example, Fortinet's new FortiAP line will work in conjunction with Fortinet's FortiGate multi-threat security appliances to provide a single platform that combines high-performance wireless networking with the industry's broadest integrated network protection.

This new solution is targetted at key vertical sectors in Malaysia, Halmen said. The new FortiAP line could be used to roll out wireless network access to employees, retail locations, education institutions, warehouses, point of sale locations or hotspots for guest use.
 
 Enterprise wireless adoption to escalate
 
The FortiAP-210 and FortiAP-220, which support the latest IEEE 802.11n standards, are designed to provide wireless networking capabilities for mid-enterprise and service-provider customers with a total user-base or distributed networks of 250-5,000 users, said Halmen.

According to a recent WLAN Equipment Forecast report from research firm ABI, enterprise wireless adoption is set to escalate with forecast revenue growth for thin Access Points to reach US$4.5 billion by 2013, he said.

Today, wireless LANs are as at risk, if not more so, than wired networks, said Halmen. In fact, some of the recent high-profile hacking cases have involved drive-by trolling of exposed wireless networks of retail establishments, resulting in the theft of thousands of consumer credit card accounts.

Fortinet's entry into the wireless LAN market gives current customers a way to create converged wired and wireless networks with the same powerful protection under a familiar, simplified and cost-effective management platform with no additional controller investment, said Fortinet founder and chief technology officer, Michael Xie. New customers will be able to experience a high-performance, secure wireless LAN environment that offers the broadest protection of any consolidated security offering on the market. Overall, today's FortiAP introduction is a key step in Fortinet's growth strategy to extend our security reach into broader and deeper parts of the network.