AirMagnet Attracts Fortress

Fortress Technologies of Tampa, Florida will soon have a new product to sell to customers — a version of the AirMagnet Enterprise distributed system.

“AirMagnet has a full range of products for IDS [intrusion detection system], IPS [intrusion prevention] and performance management,” says Rich Mironov, vice president of marketing at the Sunnyvale, California-based company. “We don’t provide the full set of solutions Fortress has, like end-to-end encryption and protection of data — so the two companies are getting together.”

This initial deal to “incorporate” AirMagnet Enterprise into the Fortress line will not entail any technological changes for either company —  it is a straightforward original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement, with Fortress re-branding AirMagnet’s  sensors and software.

This type of deal, with a company reselling its equipment under a new name, is a first for AirMagnet. It announced plans last year to license its technology to other vendors in a strategy to extend its sensors directly into access points (APs). The company previously announced deals with companies like chipmaker Engim and hardware vendors Colubris and Xirrus. AirMagnet has done its own integration with Cisco’s WLSE system to provide compatibility that turns Aironet APs into scanners.

“Our initial goal was to bring this to market quickly for customers who requested it,” says Janet Kumpu, president and COO of Fortress. “We have plans to add incremental value on the management side and sensor side. We’ll be integrating that in future releases.”

Kumpu says there is a possibility that in the future Fortress may also sell other AirMagnet products, such as the the AirMagnet Laptop  Analyzer and Handheld Analyzer programs, or the AirMagnet Surveyor software for planning wireless LANs.

Fortress offers a number of security controllers, along with its Management and Policy Server (MaPS) for control and administration of security on a WLAN. They use multi-factor authentication to make sure the device and the user on it are who they say they are, and that they’re meeting security policy. Fortress has certification for  Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 security, a cryptographic standard created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mironov says AirMagnet Enterprise is on the “pre-validated” list: “You’ll see it fully validated soon,” he says.

The two companies are only demonstrating AirMagnet under Fortress branding today. The product should be released at the beginning of October.

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