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Wi-Fi app alerts IT managers to intruders

Newbury Networks says its WiFi Watchdog helps IT managers sniff out 802.11b network intruders and cut off their access.

Start-up Newbury Networks announced a new application it says will help IT managers keep wireless networks secure.

The Boston, Mass.-based company said Tuesday that its WiFi Watchdog application will alert IT managers when an intruder is accessing a company's 802.11b network and will prevent the intruder from doing so. The software also pinpoints where an intruder is within 5 feet and allows IT managers to more effectively direct which parts of a network's coverage is active.

For example, if a wireless network's coverage extends to the company parking lot, a manager can restrict access to the network from the parking lot.

"One of the great aspects of wireless networks is their range, but it's also one of the chief vulnerabilities," said Chuck Conley, vice president of marketing at Newbury Networks. "We want to give some of the manageability back to the IT manager."

Individual companies as well as industry groups have been addressing the security concerns of wireless networks.

"The market for wireless networks is growing...further security measures can only help to put managers' minds at ease," said Will Strauss, an analyst with research firm Forward Concepts.

The $20,000 WiFi Watchdog program runs on top of Newbury's $20,000 LocaleServer, a server application that is the foundation for location-based networks, and will ship in January 2003, according to the company.