Vernier Networks, Inc. announced today that it has enhanced its original WLAN management products, released in September 2001, to include support for three widely used security mechanisms: PPTP, IPsec, and L2TP/IPsec. These security mechanisms operate at Layer 3 of the OSI model and offer increased secuirty over WEP, a Layer 2 protocol.
Vernier Networks System Version 2.0 incorporates the security protocols and is available now for the full range of Vernier products. The company described the product as being designed to integrate into new and existing WLANs – adding seamless roaming functionality and user-specific network management and control.
Vernier Networks dubbed the new features ‘airwave security,’ which complements existing support for authentication services and user-specific access control. The company described the new security controls as a ‘true Layer 3 solution’. Layer 3 refers to the Network layer of the OSI communications model – describing those operations that deal with addresses, routing, QoS, and interfacing with the Transport layer (Layer 4).
Vernier stated that its solution deals with both security and mobility simultaneously, effectively giving end-users the ability to roam across subnets without having to log-off or manually reauthenticate themselves – and maintain security while doing so.
PPTP, or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, is a proposed standard sponsored by Microsoft used in establishing VPNs and is the encryption protocol with the largest installed base. IPsec (IP Security Protocol), is an IETF standard for building encrypted tunnels between end-users and the network. It is also used in VPNs and firewall applications. L2TP/IPsec is an extension of PPTP. It is a joint effort of Microsoft and Cisco, and incorporates advantages of PPTP and L2F (Layer 2 Forwarding) from Cisco for Windows 2000/XP.
Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com