SEATTLE - January 14, 2016 — WatchGuard® Technologies, a leader in multi-function firewalls, today announced the new AP300 for secure wireless access. Designed to work with WatchGuard's award-winning Unified Threat Management (UTM) Firebox appliances, the AP300 delivers cutting-edge wireless access with advanced security services to help industry providers better protect customers across Wi-Fi networks. The AP300 offers the latest 802.11ac standard and a host of new wireless features to solve business problems 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.
Wireless trends are growing with Wi-Fi access becoming ubiquitous in businesses, stores, corporate environments and public spaces. Organizations are offering guest Wi-Fi access so customers can go online via cell phones, laptops and devices. However, security is an often overlooked yet critical element in the explosion of wireless today. As the use of wireless increases, so does the vulnerability to both opportunistic and targeted attacks.
"Organizations 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. "Organizations need to play better defense, especially on Wi-Fi networks. 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."
Organizations need to provide their customers with a fast, reliable secure wireless network experience.
"WatchGuard's advanced network security products have made a tremendous impact on our business," said Casey Jones, chief technology officer of Quasar Data. "We love WatchGuard for secure wireless. The AP300 is super easy to set up and we experience excellent coverage throughout the office and the datacenter. With the new roaming feature, I can walk from my office all the way into my data center and stay constantly connected with super-fast speed."
- 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 neighboring 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 packet 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 that 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 neighboring customers, and illegal downloads can leave the business susceptible to lawsuits.
- Bad Neighbors: 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.