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Studies of Airport and Financial District WiFi Risks Reveal Continuing Pattern of Poor Wireless Security Practices

White House Says Cyber Threats Most Serious Economic and National Security Challenge U.S. Faces

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/29/09 -- Over the past 14 months, AirTight® Networks issued the findings from its studies of wireless security vulnerabilities at 26 airports worldwide and seven financial districts which indicate that many organizations have WLANs that are poorly protected against the risks posed by the proliferation of WiFi enabled devices and appear to lack visibility into wireless threats which would allow them to enforce wireless security and compliance policies.

President Obama recognized in his speech today the serious homeland security threats posed by cyber criminals not only to government organizations but also to the economic health of the United States. The President referred to the world of cyberspace that we depend on every day saying, "It's the broadband networks beneath us and the wireless signals around us, the local networks in our schools and hospitals and businesses and the massive grids that power our nation."

In its continuing series of studies, AirTight has set out to understand the risks to businesses and their corporate networks of data leakage while employees are sending sensitive information using unsecured, mis-configured or rogue wireless access points and circumventing corporate guidelines for the use of WiFi. The studies continue to find troubling results regarding the security posture of private Wi-Fi networks as well as the rapid spread of viral Wi-Fi networks.

"In this time of heightened security concerns, we were surprised to find core systems such as ticketing and baggage handling at major airports still using a broken encryption system such as WEP or open access points (APs)," said Pravin Bhagwat, CTO of AirTight. "And in light of some rather spectacular data breaches involving financial information in recent years -- both wired and wireless -- in financial districts we expected to find well protected and configured networks, open or guest access isolated from corporate networks and strict enforcement of Wi-Fi security policies. What we found instead is that the airspace in these financial districts is dominated by open or poorly encrypted WEP wireless APs. Many of these APs were using ineffective security practices such as hiding the SSID, and personally identifiable information was leaking out."

"These findings should give pause to security administrators working in industries with highly sensitive information such as financial services or who are charged with protecting critical services. It is time for all of these enterprises and government agencies to recognize the risks and implement WiFi security best practices," continued Bhagwat.

If you would like more information on the AirTight Wireless Vulnerability Studies, please contact Della Lowe at 650-934-8191 (office) or 650-868-5829 (mobile).

You can now follow AirTight on Twitter @AirTightWIPS

Read and comment on the AirTight Networks Blog

About AirTight

AirTight Networks is the global leader in wireless security and compliance solutions providing customers best-of-breed technology to automatically detect, classify, locate and block all current and emerging wireless threats. AirTight offers both the industry's leading wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) and the world's first wireless vulnerability management (WVM) security-as-a-service (SaaS). AirTight's award-winning solutions are used by customers globally in the financial, government, retail, manufacturing, transportation, education, health care, telecom, and technology industries. AirTight owns the seminal patents for wireless intrusion prevention technology with 10 U.S. patents and two international patents granted (UK and Australia), and more than 25 additional patents pending. AirTight Networks is a privately held company based in Mountain View, CA. For more information please visit www.airtightnetworks.com

AirTight Networks and the AirTight Networks logo are trademarks; AirTight and SpectraGuard are registered trademarks of AirTight Networks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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