Interview with Eric Janszen, CEO of Bluesocket Inc.

Eric Janszen is the CEO of Bluesocket Inc., a company that manufactures high performance solutions enabling the broad deployment and effective management of WLANs for data and voice communications in enterprises worldwide.

Bluesocket provides enterprises including KPMG Consulting and Microsoft with a simple yet comprehensive system to secure and manage WLANs (e.g. 802.11 family, HiperLAN2, Bluetooth).

Bluesocket’s Wireless Gateways give users of laptops, PDAs, mobile phones and other mobile devices wireless access to corporate networks and the Internet while moving within their campus buildings, other corporate premises and public coverage areas with Secure Mobility.

What events in the wireless security market have marked this year?

The past year has shown great improvements in terms of products and standards evolution toward delivering secure, production-quality wireless networks.

  • The September 11 tragedy called attention to security in general
  • US Government report on Wireless Security (Fall 2002): pointed out need for wireless security policies and technologies
  • Bluesocket and other wireless gateway products (others include Vernier and ReefEdge) to provide drop-in solutions to allow security, management.

Warchalking, Wardriving, Warspamming – these are just some of the terms we see frequently in the news. Do you see these actions as a real problem or is it just the media making things bigger than they are?

The three WWWs above are given disproportionate attention by the media. Organizations running WLANs care most about managing access control (who can do what where and how on the wireless network through authentication and authorisation) than they care about encrypting airlink traffic for privacy.

Will there be a slowdown in acceptance of wireless technology in the corporate environment in 2003 because of increased security concerns?

On the contrary, 2003 will be busier than 2002 with larger corporations following the lead of early adopters of wireless (e.g. universities, hospitals, government and military, manufacturers).

What are your predictions for the future when it comes to wireless security?

Wireless web access will quickly gain popularity (as voicemail, email and mobile telephones before it). Most major cities around the world will have wireless zones in which free/low cost wireless access will be available. 3G will lose to 802.11 for Voice over IP telephones. By 2005 all laptop computers will offer wireless. Access points will cost under $20 US.

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