Tivoli Adds Central Security to Wireless

BOSTON (06/08/2000) - Tivoli Systems Inc. wants to simplify managing security for your wireless network.

Tivoli Tuesday announced that its SecureWay Policy Director software will now be able to handle personal digital assistants and other handhelds devices.

Policy Director software lets IS staff centrally manage the authentication of end users and ensure only the appropriate network resources are accessible to them.

Now the product will oversee security for Wireless Access Protocol (WAP)-based devices, like a Nokia cell phone. Nokia Corp., for instance, offers Windows-based gateway server software that translates IP traffic into the WAP format, letting Internet applications talk to its handheld gear. The WAP gateway server would typically sit on the network edge.

Tivoli has placed a hook into Policy Director that let it talk to the WAP gateway server and view the wireless sessions going on there for security management. This will save users the time and expense of creating a separate, dedicated wireless security system in addition to their existing one, Tivoli says.

By 2001, every wireless phone will be WAP-enabled, according to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC), in Framingham, Massachusetts. However, the WAP standards are still in their infancy, and different vendors have slightly different implementations. Therefore, initially, users will probably need an IBM specialist to write the code that lets the user's WAP gateway talk to the Policy Director server. Down the line, the firm will probably offer an out of the box version of Policy Director that can be installed in-house.

There are a variety of ways the WAP security rules can be implemented in an enterprise. For example, the system could work like this: An end user dials into an enterprise WAP gateway with their digital cell phone or other device.

The WAP gateway establishes who the end user is and then accesses the Policy Director server via an encrypted session. Based on the access rules contained there, the end user is able to execute transactions or access data without having to rely on multiple logons or passwords.

Policy Director with WAP support is available today; the cost for tweaking it will vary, Tivoli says.

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