Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

CWAP Beta Course – Recap

If you read my latest posts, you already know that I attended the Certified Wireless Analysis Professional beta course hosted by the CWNP program in Atlanta, GA last week. 

I really enjoyed all the side bar discussions between attendees.  There were at least 3-4 vendors represented, as well as VARs/Integrators and enterprise wireless network administrators.    I  spoke about my favorite side-bar discussion, which was about locating wireless devices through spectrum analysis on my Computerworld blog.   

Attending the course also really reinforced what a big believer I am in the CWNP program.  It’s great to see a vendor neutral training and certification body in our field.   I really think that along with the IEEE and Wi-Fi Alliance, they have done a great job promoting and educating the community about wireless technology, which helps drive growth / adoption, which is good for everyone involved. 

Therefore, I wanted to take the time to interview one of the CWNP co-founders, Kevin Sandlin, to have him explain about the program and how it fits an emerging trend  in the marketplace:

INTEROP Preview

I made it to Syn-City.  Whoops!  That’s the geek in me.  You know… the three way handshake… Syn, Syn-Ack, Ack  (I guess its not a good joke if you have to explain it).   

This week, I will be attending both INTEROP and Forrester’s IT Forum.  Due to the lack of sleep this city usually affords me, I will be concentrating my efforts on my Computerworld blog, and plan to have a post everyday, starting this evening and running through Thursday.  

It’s going to be a busy week for me.  Besides blogging, my employer (Xirrus) is exhibiting at the show as well as providing the WiFi for all exhibitors and attendees.  (Translation: I will be pulling booth duty.  Stop on by and say hello!)

I also have a number of meetings set up with some real movers and shakers in the wireless industry.  Today, I had lunch with Craig Mathias, who is the conference chair of the wireless track at INTEROP.  Craig and I had a great discussion.  We discussed

  • What looks to be the most exciting part of the upcoming wireless track at INTEROP 
  • If wireless is a capable replacement to Ethernet switching to the desktop 
  • The general decline in interest in wireless security

I plan on transcribing our Q&A in my Computerworld blog post later this evening.  Over the next few days, I will have Q&A with other journalists, analysts, etc. so reach out and let me know in the comments section what I should ask them!

I also have several other “extra-curricular activities” while I am in Vegas.  No, it’s not what you’re thinking…  One such event that I am particularly excited about it tonight’s “Beer & Bloggers” event down at Palazzo.  If you are in Vegas, come on by!  The logistical information is below:

Las Vegas Tweetup – 2009
Monday May 18, 2009 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Dos Caminos
inside the Palazzo Hotel/Casino
3325 Las Vegas Blvd.
South Las Vegas, Nevada 89109

http://lasvegas.beerandblog.com/2009/05/02/forresters-las-vegas-tweetup-2009/

Importance of WIDS/WIPS (Wi-Fi Masterminds)

This is the first in a series of posts that I am dubbing “Wi-Fi Masterminds” (TM). I will ask questions to a series of panelists and they will answer in round-robin fashion, where they can answer the question as well as respond to others.

If you have ever seen the show “Around the Horn” on ESPN, that is the type of interaction I am looking for.

I am planning on a pool of 6-8 masterminds, bit will limit each question to a panel of three members. I will try to minimize my own involvement in the questions to only provide structure where needed or correct any factual errors.

Without further delay, let’s meet today’s panelists, shall we?  They are… 

jennifer Jennifer Huber CCNP, RFID+, CWNE #51  @jenniferlucille  — Jennifer has over 8 years of  experience in the networking and wireless engineering industry. She has a solid background in  supporting, designing, deploying, and troubleshooting 802.11a/b/g/n Enterprise wireless    installations, as well as the ability to take complex information and explain problems and solutions in  terms that are easily understood. 

keith Keith R. Parsons, CWNE #3:  – @keithparsons   http://WLANiconoclast.blogspot.com — A gifted  presenter, Keith is known for his wit and broad technical expertise. He holds over 50 technical  certifications and has earned an MBA from the Marriott School of Management. He is author (or editor) of a  dozen technical publications and has developed seven technical certification programs. He travels  throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia in behalf of a wide variety of IT vendors,  explaining networking technology to industry professionals.

joel Joel Barrett, CWNP#6: @joelbarrett  —  Joel Barrett is a senior-level wireless networking architect  with Cisco Systems. Joel consults primarily with large enterprise customers concerning complex  wireless deployments. He is an author of wireless industry books and lexicographer for “The Official  CWNP Dictionary of Wireless Terms and Acronyms”.

 

I asked the panelist the following questions:

How important do you think wireless IDS/IPS functionality is in an enterprise WLAN?  What do you think are important features of wireless IDS/IPS systems? 

Here is what they had to say… 

Jennifer:  The need for robust IDS/IPS alerting is essential in enterprise WLANs used in environments where the security of WLAN data is of import, or may be required by law.  Generating a baseline of WLAN usage, and implementing periodic auditing could mitigate the impact of a data breach, or prevent a repeat of the 2007 T. J. Maxx data theft incident.  Implementing a WIPS/WIDS system is usually one of many steps toward HIPAA or PCI compliance.  The ability of the WIPS/WIDS system to determine if a rogue AP is connected to the enterprise network is especially beneficial when determining the real threat of the rogue device.

Keith:  I agree with Jennifer’s initial description of the value of a wireless IDS/IPS system. I too have noticed the initial value of a WIDS is in the area of security. Being able to configure the correct security alarms for the intrusions your company cares about is paramount. A WIDS straight out of the box will give hundreds, if not thousands of alarms. The first step should be to correctly choose and configure the alarms your firm cares about tracking. Then build the proper response to those alarm triggers, i.e. document the remediation process for each alarm. As you clear each alarm category, then slowly add more alarms to the WIDS system until you get to where your firm wants to be. 

In my clients, they purchase a WIDS for security – but then received the best ROI based on the performance alarms and learning to better adapt the performance characteristics of their Wireless LAN – thus getting double, triple or higher throughput increases. Yes, the security is important, but a great WIDS/WIPS should also help you to troubleshoot and ‘tweak’ your Wireless LAN as well.

Joel: Wireless IDS/IPS is important because, for any establishment that accepts credit cards, PCI DSS compliance requires it. Customers who don’t accept credit cards should still implement WIDS/WIPS so they are aware of security threats and can take steps to reduce or eliminate rogue devices. In my opinion, it is more important to do continual monitoring rather than just periodic monitoring, as required by PCI DSS.

The most important feature, after detecting rogues, is the ability to produce meaningful reports so that management can understand what needs to be done to properly, quickly, and legally deal with those rogue devices.

What do YOU think?  Let our panel know by submitting a comment! 

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Wi-Fi Masterminds

I am starting a new series here called “Wi-Fi Masterminds” (TM).

I will ask questions to a series of panelists and they will answer in round-robin fashion, where they can answer the question as well as respond to others.

If you have ever seen the show “Around the Horn” on ESPN, that is the type of interaction I am looking for.

I am planning on a pool of 6-8 masterminds, bit will limit each question to a panel of three members. I will try to minimize my own involvement in the questions to only provide structure where needed or correct any factual errors.

I am drawing the masterminds from several different wireless vendors & VARs as all as individual consultancies. I would like to keep the discussion as vendor neutral as possible. I understand that it may be necessary to refer to vendor specifics from time to time, but have asked all panelists to be respectful of other vendor viewpoints.

My first question is about wireless IDS/IPS systems and is meant to piggyback off of recent content I published here as well as on my Computerworld blog.

Feel free to suggest future topics and/or volunteer as a panelist. When the first post is published (hopefully in the next day or two), let our panel know what you think by submitting a comment of your own.

SANS Phoenix – Upcoming Interview

As many of you already know, I am taking the SANS Security Leadership Essentials course at the upcoming SANS Conference in Phoenix, Mar 23-30th. It is being taught by none other than Stephen Northcutt, President of the SANS Institute.  

I caught up with Stephen earlier this week on LinkedIn and told him that I will be blogging and Tweeting about the event in near real time.  I also asked if I could interview him for WiFiJedi.com, to which he agreed.   

Please leave me a comment or send me an email, Tweet, etc. if you have something specific that you would like me to address in the interview.   

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