IBM unlocks wireless security services

IBM Corp. on Monday introduced a range of services and software that aims to improve security in wireless networks. It will be sold through IBM's Global Services division.

As part of the package, IBM unveiled its wireless security auditor tool, designed to help security consultants and system administrators in finding access points and examining configurations which can then be made more secure, IBM said in a statement.

Big Blue also released upgraded versions of its security software, Tivoli Risk Manager and Tivoli Policy Director. Risk Manager now includes software for wireless network vulnerability management using Wireless Security Auditor. Tivoli Policy Director, version 3.8, allows for Web site access with single sign-on and authorization for mobile devices using WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology as well as I-mode devices, IBM said.

The Risk Manager and Policy Director tools are by Tivoli Systems Inc., the Austin, Texas-based company owned by IBM. Policy Director 3.8, formally launched by Tivoli last month, also includes XML (Extensible Markup Language) support for security incident reporting, increased scalability through architecture enhancements, and SSL (secure sockets layer) programming interfaces. To protect wired and wireless data, hardware, network access and communications, IBM is also incorporating a new embedded subsystem ThinkPad security technology into its line of NetVista desktops and ThinkPad Notebook computers, the company said. Certain models of the ThinkPad X, T and A Series, the NetVista M41 Series desktop PCs and the NetVista X41 integrated flat-panel PC will have the embedded security subsystem, IBM said.

Additionally, the IBM ThinkPad notebooks and NetVista desktops now feature a cryptographic microprocessor to allow PKI (public key infrastructure) encryption, the company said.

IBM has also developed a device to automatically monitor 802.11 wireless LAN networks and collect security-related information to protect the LAN nodes from sneak attacks from hackers. The Wireless Security Auditor, prototyped on a Linux-based wireless PDA (personal digital assistant), was developed by IBM's Global Security Analysis Lab through its research unit. The security software and services are being offered through IBM's Global Services division so that the company can offer "one stop shopping" for corporations looking not just for security hardware and software, but for help in planning and implementing security systems into their own wireless applications and services, IBM said.

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