RealTime IT News

IBM Beefs Up Wireless Roaming Security

As mobile computing becomes more popular throughout the enterprise, IT executives from systems vendors to CIOs are placing an increasing emphasis on securing those expanding work environments. In fact, just last week when PalmSource announced its latest secure platform at the CeBIT America tech conference, CEO David Nagel highlighted the single biggest point of irony that underscores the difficulty of accelerating the deployment of mobile enterprise computing: "you have a $250 device with $250 million worth of corporate data on there."

On Tuesday, IBM introduced two software tools to help systems administrators maintain the same level of security across their wired or wireless networks while still allowing for seamless roaming across a variety of protocols.

The Armonk, NY.-based IBM has updated its WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager suite in order to enable software that creates a mobile VPN for both Internet Protocol (IP) networks and non-IP, or private packet radio networks. The tools protect sensitive enterprise data by encrypting data, optimizing performance and reducing transmission costs. Mobile employees can use a laptop or a PDA to move from location to location no matter if the connection point is based on Wi-Fi, iDEN, CDMA or some other high-speed cellular standard.

The Connection Manager software is certified on Windows, Solaris and IBM's proprietary AIX/UNIX platforms under the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 level requirements -- one of the most stringent cryptographic security standards developed by U.S. and Canadian governments.

The newest WebSphere software, version 5.0, is the clearest example yet of IBM's renewed commitment to handheld-computing pioneer Palm Solutions (formerly known as Palm Computing). Within the last month, the two companies have announced a series of arrangements to strengthen their ties to each other and the developer communities they respectively serve. When Connection Manager version 5.0 is combined into IBM's new Mobile Office Entry Jumpstart solution, enterprise customers in numerous industries will be able to pilot and test run the software with newly enabled Palm Tungsten handheld computers supporting up to 50 clients.

"WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager raises the bar to new heights for mobile workers who need secure access to data from multiple types of computing devices," said Joe Damassa, vice president of IBM Pervasive Computing Division.

IBM also announced the introduction of Wireless Security Auditor as an additional tool in the arsenal of its IBM Global Services division. The wireless security tools allow Global Services security consultants to help system administrators assess security vulnerability in their wireless systems.