(August 22, 2001)
Publisher and Managing Editor's
LAN/WAN Integration - View from the Wireless Infrastructure
Suppliers and Impact of Security Flaws in Wireless LANs.
We continue to get feedback on
Wireless LAN-WAN integration topic. We are bringing your attention
to an observation and a related issue. Our observation is that major
network infrastructure vendors like Ericsson (and others like
Motorola, Nokia and others) are in fact watching this trend
seriously. They are in "watch, experiment and learn" mode.
This means that they seem to agree with our general assessment.
However, they are not sure, at this stage, that this trend is a long
term one. They also have to face internal debate and technology
compatibility issues. The product developers will cite hundred
different technology challenges they face because they had embarked
on a different path and want to reach the original destination. This
is a healthy debate internally and externally. You, the
professionals, control the destiny of ultimate outcome.
The related issue that we want to
raise is with respect to security flaws in wireless LANs. There has
been a lot of trade coverage of this topic because it is so juicy.
We consider these flaws serious roadblocks in ongoing acceptance of
wireless LANs because of both perception and reality. We are also
confident that problem does have a solution and that IEEE with the
help of the wireless security vendors will solve it soon. We also
state that the same group of cryptographers can break the encryption
on radio wide area air links also, if they tried. Nonetheless, our
pragmatic position is that for secure information, you should rely
on end-to-end security from the application server to the client
software in the handheld device. The infrastructure and network can
help you only so much. Your internal discipline and security
practices are far more important than the security protection that
infrastructure provides. Since when were your public highways
completely secure? Good news is that infrastructure vendors are
focusing on LAN security flaws also.
Ericsson demonstrated in June 2001
at 3G CDMA World Congress, a seamless, high-speed packet data
services with CDMA2000 and Wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions.
Employing mobile IP capabilities for wireless networks,
Ericsson's CDMA2000 1xEV solution illustrated how CDMA operators
can efficiently and cost effectively deliver 3G mobile Internet
services in concert with wireless LAN services in hot spots.
Dhawan - Your Site's Principal Consultant and Publisher