WatchGuard introduces Cloud-based Wi-Fi security solution and APs

WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud delivers automated wireless threat prevention along with the additional benefits of interactive engagement and analytics; new Wi-fi access points announced

WatchGuard introduces Cloud-based Wi-Fi security solution and APs

WatchGuard Technologies has unveiled WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud, a secure, scalable and feature-rich Wi-Fi management platform with a new family of high-performance, cloud-ready access points.

The secure wireless solution delivers a Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), while turning Wi-Fi hot spots into consumer research, analytics and push marketing tools.

WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud is designed to simplify even the most complex aspects of Wi-Fi management and aims to deliver high-quality wireless performance, while ensuring consistent security policies across all connected devices.

The patented WIPS technology built into WatchGuard’s new cloud-ready AP120 and AP320 access points (pictured) automatically classifies wireless devices as Authorized, Rogue or External, resulting in very low false positive rates.

This advanced rogue detection process can safely and automatically shut down unauthorised access points and clients, while almost eliminating the risk of illegally interfering with neighbouring wireless networks, the company claims.

“We’ve developed a comprehensive solution that dramatically simplifies how businesses deploy and manage secure wireless,” said Ryan Orsi, director of wireless products at WatchGuard. “In addition, the WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud makes it easier for organisations to turn Wi-Fi into an extension of their brand, an interactive experience for their customers and a powerful analytics tool.”

In addition to automatically detecting and disabling rogue wireless devices and attacks, WatchGuard’s industry-leading WIPS also provides customers with:

Secure Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy Enforcement – automatically identifies on-network smart devices and blocks unapproved connections.
Accurate Location Tracking – pinpoints the location of connected wireless devices or sources of interference, enabling administrators to quickly take action.
Flexible Deployment – deployable in configurations to meet any security need. It can be installed as an overlay on top of an existing WLAN infrastructure or as a stand-alone enforcement system for Wi-Fi prohibited zones.

Customers can run all of their wireless network traffic through one of WatchGuard's leading network security appliances, providing the same AV, IPS, web filtering, spam blocking, application control, APT blocking, data loss prevention and reputation lookup techniques for wireless traffic. This protects them against malware planting, eavesdropping and data theft and prevents inappropriate or illegal use of their networks.

The Wi-Fi Cloud also provides visibility into marketing data, including insights into footfall and customer demographics, visualised on customisable dashboards. Organisations can easily monetise these insights by tapping into the mobile engagement features, which allow direct communication with individual customers in the form of SMS, MMS and their social network of choice. WatchGuard Wi-Fi Cloud management features also include:

Custom Splash Pages and Social Wi-Fi Engagement – captive portals allow businesses to personalise customer Wi-Fi experiences by offering promotional opportunities, surveys and strong authentication through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social applications.
Mobile Engagement – delivers custom messages to customers via SMS, MMS, and social networks, based on predefined triggers including user interaction and length of time on-network.
Wi-Fi Analytics - data is collected via passive scans, active scans and user connections in and around your

Wi-Fi networks. Analyses and conceptualises this data to provide insight into traffic patterns, behaviour and demographics of customers’s Wi-Fi users, in addition to generating a visual map of foot traffic patterns on a floor plan.

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