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Shimon Systems and AuthenTec Announce Advanced WiFi Access Control

Two leading companies in this space announced an integrated solution to provide strong user authentication for WiFi networks

Shimon Systems and AuthenTec announced an integrated solution to provide strong user authentication for WiFi networks. The integrated solution combines the unique technologies of both companies to help organizations overcome the historical weaknesses of WiFi security: the lack of user authentication; crackable encryption keys; and WiFi clients that auto-connect to rogue networks.

The cooperation between Shimon Systems and AuthenTec creates a powerful WLAN security solution that features both reliable user authentication and strong WPA (WiFi Protected Access)  cryptography.  Included in the solution is AuthenTec’s AES2501 fingerprint sensor, one of the most popular sensors for laptop and desktop PCs and peripherals, while Shimon Systems offers Bio-NetGuard™, a WiFi Security Solution that leverages fingerprint technology to control access to WiFi networks.  Together, the integrated technologies ensure that only authorized and authenticated mobile device users can connect to the enterprise WLAN.

Bio-NetGuard is a small plug-and-play RADIUS server, purpose-built for WiFi access control, which has been extended and enhanced with fingerprint biometrics to authenticate user identities.  Bio-NetGuard can secure multiple WiFi access points connected to the same router, yet allow authenticated users to seamlessly roam between access points without having to re-authenticate.

AuthenTec fingerprint sensors feature the company's patented TruePrint® technology, the only solution in production that reads below the surface of the skin to the live layer, where the true fingerprint resides.  This unique subsurface approach enables AuthenTec sensors to read virtually every fingerprint, every time.  The technology's extreme accuracy also allows AuthenTec to create sensors that are smaller, lower cost, and perform better than larger, more costly competing solutions.

“Fingerprint authentication is fast, accurate, cost-effective, and well-suited to products and applications like Shimon Systems’ Bio-NetGuard,” stated Bill Dennehy, director of Business Development, AuthenTec.  “This pioneering WiFi access control capability, made possible by Shimon Systems and AuthenTec, will powerfully and positively impact the integrity of networks at many, many organizations worldwide.”

Three Steps to Security
“Many businesses have avoided the use of WiFi networks due to security concerns,” said Dr. Baldev Krishan, president and CEO of Shimon Systems.  “Our message to them is that enterprise-class WiFi security is now as easy as 1-2-3:  one, turn on WPA; two, use a WiFi client which will not auto-connect to rogue networks; and three, enforce strong user authentication.  Most IT managers recognize that an enterprise-class network requires strong user authentication and strong cryptography, but surprisingly few recognize that the popular WiFi clients from Microsoft and Intel can, unbeknownst to the user, automatically connect to a rogue network.  To completely secure a network, all three steps must be taken.”

Most organizations today have a weak WiFi security regimen at best.  They use the “home” version of WPA—the IEEE-standard communications protocol designed to make wireless networks secure—which unfortunately does not enforce user authentication.  Moreover, they use the standard Windows Zero Config WiFi client..

While some organizations do implement the “enterprise” version of WPA as well as restrictive WiFi clients, they often use passwords for user authentication.  Such passwords do not provide the failsafe protection needed to secure wireless networks, nor are they convenient or easy to deploy.  The joint EntréPad/Bio-NetGuard solution announced today creates the secure, convenient end-to-end WiFi access today’s security-conscious companies require.

In addition to cooperating in the technology arena, AuthenTec and Shimon will cooperatively market their integrated solution directly as well as through systems integrators.

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