WatchGuard® Technologies has announced the new AP300 for secure wireless access. Designed to work with WatchGuard's Unified Threat Management (UTM) Firebox appliances, the AP300 delivers cutting-edge wireless access with advanced security services to better protect Wi-Fi network users. The AP300 offers the latest 802.11ac standard and a host of new wireless features including Fast Roaming to improve quality for VoIP devices; Fast Handover, which forces ‘sticky’ devices with low signal strength to quickly connect to the next AP; and Band Steering to move devices to the clearer 5GHz band.
Wi-Fi access is becoming ubiquitous in businesses, stores, corporate environments and public spaces, with organisations offering guest Wi-Fi access so customers can go online via their smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices. But as the use of wireless increases, so does the vulnerability to both opportunistic and targeted attacks.
"Organisations across all industries are facing increased pressure from customers, vendors and employees to offer wireless access. Unfortunately, hackers are also constantly trying to gain a foothold into the network," said Ryan Orsi, director of product management at WatchGuard. "Businesses that fail to properly secure their Wi-Fi networks, including guest hotspots, may expose customers, partners and internal users to a variety of risks. The AP300 provides the latest wireless technology and best-in-class security features working together to help protect customers from threats online via Wi-Fi networks."
Security threats that may involve wireless networks include:
- Wi-Fi Password Cracking: Wireless access points that still use older security protocols, like WEP, are easy targets because passwords are notoriously easy to crack.
- Rogue Hotspots: Nothing physically prevents a cyber criminal from enabling a foreign access point near a hotspot with a matching SSID, which invites customers to log in. Users that fall victim to the Rogue AP are susceptible to malicious code, which often goes unnoticed.
- Planting Malware: Customers that join a guest wireless network are susceptible to unknowingly walking out with unwanted malware, delivered from bad-intentioned neighbouring users. A common tactic used by hackers is to plant a backdoor on the network, which allows them to return at a later date to steal sensitive data.
- Eavesdropping: Guests run the risk of having their private communications intercepted, or packets sniffed, by cyber snoops while on an unprotected wireless network.
- Data Theft: Joining a wireless network may put users at risk of losing private documents to cyber thieves who are listening in and opportunistically intercepting data being sent through the network.
- Inappropriate and Illegal Usage: Businesses offering guest Wi-Fi risk playing host to a wide variety of illegal and potentially harmful communications. Adult or extremist content can be offensive to neighbouring customers and illegal downloads can leave the business susceptible to lawsuits.
- Bad Neighbours: As the number of wireless users on the network grows, so does the risk of a pre-infected device entering the network. Mobile attacks, such as Android's Stagefright, can spread from guest to guest, even if "victim zero" is oblivious to the outbreak.
WatchGuard protects against these threats, enabling wireless networks to pass traffic through all security services running on the WatchGuard firewall, including anti-virus (AV), Intrusion Prevention Service (IPS), WebBlocker, spamBlocker, App Control, Reputation Enabled Defense, APT Blocker and Data Loss Prevention. Each of these services is managed in a single-pane-of-glass console, and can be enabled without sacrificing speed or throughput.
About WatchGuard Technologies
WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader of integrated, multi-function business security solutions that intelligently combine industry-standard hardware, best-in-class security features, and policy-based management tools. WatchGuard provides easy-to-use, but enterprise-powerful protection to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle, Wash. with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit WatchGuard.com.
WatchGuard is a registered trademark of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners.