Siemens Tightens Wireless Security

Siemens Enterprise Communications integrated its HiPath Wireless Manager with Microsoft’s Network Access Protection (NAP) platform so companies can now monitor and enforce security policy and access control for mobile users who connect through a wireless network. Siemens provides integration with Microsoft’s Network Access Protection platform through the Open Services Framework introduced as part of HiPath Wireless Manager.

“User demand for mobility and security has placed new mandates on enterprises to secure their network infrastructure without taxing IT resources,” Mike Schutz, Group Product Manager – Security and Access, Microsoft Corp. “Companies such as Siemens are important to the success of our mutual enterprise customers. Siemens’ Virtual Networks Services (VNS) combined with their Open Services Framework interface adds value to the Microsoft Network Access Protection technology and enhances end-to-end network security.”

Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology built into the Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn” operating systems that allows customers to better protect network assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing compliance with network health policies. Microsoft’s Network Access Protection technology will be publicly available with Beta 2 of Windows Vista, and available to select partners and customers with Beta 2 of the future version of Windows Server, codename “Longhorn.”

Integrating HiPath Wireless Manager with Microsoft’s Network Access Protection platform means IT managers can avoid duplicating their network security infrastructure for wireless users. Instead, Network Access Protection provides a single administration interface to manage corporate security policies and help prevent wireless security breaches. It also can quarantine users to reduce risk from viruses that can cause network and employee downtime and allows network managers to use Microsoft Network Access Protection as a common interface to control wireless and wired LAN access, which simplifies management.

“Being able to deliver a complete solution using HiPath Wireless Manager’s Open Services framework means our customers don’t have to spend the extra time and money to try to integrate individual products,” said Luc Roy, VP Product Planning, HiPath Wireless, Siemens. “It also means they can use a single Microsoft Network Access Protection interface to control security policy for any user, whether wired or wireless, which greatly elevates the level of WLAN security and reduces the cost to manage mixed wired and wireless networks.”

“Integration with Siemens’ HiPath Wireless Manager shows the flexibility of our Network Access Protection platform, and the value it brings as an emerging standard for secure network access,” said Calvin Choe, Lead Program Manager for the Enterprise Networking Group at Microsoft Corp. “We are pleased that Siemens has extended its WLAN security management platform by integrating with Network Access Protection.”

Siemens recently introduced HiPath Wireless Manager as a new, centralised WLAN management platform that enables the enterprise-wide management of thousands of wireless access points and tens of thousands of users from a single console. With HiPath Wireless Manager, IT managers can now monitor and optimize performance using enterprise-wide heat maps, statistics, alerts and reports. A new key element of the HiPath Wireless Manager software is its Open Services Framework which facilitates the third party development and integration for platforms such as Microsoft’s Network Access Protection, as well as converged voice, data and video applications that promote enterprise-wide mobility. Network Access Protection support, enabled by an optional external captive portal feature, is backward compatible with HiPath Convergence Software version 3.1.