ICSA Labs Expert Available to Discuss Security Challenges Facing Wireless Users in 2002

The use of wireless devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and pagers moved well past early adopter phase and into the mainstream during 2001. Wireless communication is now a staple of mobile business professionals everywhere who enjoy the convenience and increased capabilities that these devices offer. But while new features and capabilities abound, many experts agree that the security of information stored and transmitted by wireless devices remains a serious concern for wireless product vendors and their end-user customers.

Leo Pluswick, a technology program manager at TruSecure’s independent ICSA Labs® division and a wireless security expert, believes many of the issues facing wireless security will remain unresolved in 2002. At the forefront of the list of challenges is the lack of focus on security while attempting to provide more and more features and to sell more and more wireless devices.

“Because there is no universal industry standard or functional protocol for wireless devices such as cell phones and PDAs, there can be no truly effective security protocol,” said Pluswick. “Security under the current set of protocols is lax at best, especially for the educated hacker or well-resourced adversary.”

Below are two other factors that Pluswick sees as major obstacles to improving wireless information security during 2002:

– The pace of protocol proliferation: Although more people are becoming aware of the issues, Europe, the Pacific Rim countries and America are all speeding forward developing new protocols to take advantage of new frequency allocations for the wireless service, to offer more features and make it more scalable. Little international cooperation on security is evident.

– Lack of transparency: In order to increase security of wireless devices, new security features and their cost must be transparent to the end-user. Many vendors will not add new security measures, due to the limited bandwidth of devices. Such additions are believed to significantly slow down product processing capabilities and are seen as an inconvenience. There is also concern that user-activated security features would go underutilized.

Media interested in speaking with Mr. Pluswick regarding security and wireless devices, please contact Cynthia S. Smith of TruSecure Corp. at (703) 480-8509 or csmith@trusecure.com, or Jason Morris of Schwartz Communications at (781) 684-0770 or TruSecure@schwartz-pr.com.

About the Expert

Leo Pluswick manages the development and evolution of ICSA Labs’ certification programs for cryptography, IPSec, wireless and PKI Products. He manages the IPSec Product Consortium.

Pluswick spent twenty-two years at the National Security Agency (NSA), where he was graduated from NSA’s Manager Development Program and was certified as an Education and Training Officer and as an Engineer. At NSA he worked as an electronic engineer, planner, technical manager and completed ten years as an instructor and manager at the National Cryptologic School. Pluswick has eight years experience in other industries in electronic/rf/microwave engineering/product development and management and served two years as a Signal Officer in the U.S. Army. He joined ICSA Labs in January 1997.

Pluswick received a Bachelors of Science in Physics from the Pennsylvania State University, an MS in Physics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and completed special studies as an Advanced Engineering Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About TruSecure Corporation

TruSecure provides global 10,000 companies with comprehensive enterprise risk-management programs that assure the ongoing security of their critical systems and information. By integrating disparate security products and processes into a comprehensive risk-management program, TruSecure helps hundreds of companies achieve greater risk reduction at lower cost. TruSecure’s ICSA Labs is the security industry’s central authority for product standards and testing, and today certifies more than 95% of the market’s anti-virus software, network firewalls, cryptography and IPSec products. TruSecure’s monthly magazine, Information Security®, is the industry’s leading trade publication. Based in Herndon, VA, TruSecure Corporation is privately-held with investors including J. & W. Seligman & Co., J.P. Morgan Partners, Weston Presidio Capital, Greylock and WaldenVC.

For more information about TruSecure, please visit www.trusecure.com.


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