Optical/IP Networks

IDS Shakeout Ahead?

The majority of canny startups dominating the 802.11 intrusion detection system (IDS) space are unlikely to ever achieve the scale required to win the attention of large enterprises, according to the latest edition of Unstrung Insider.

Despite their serious headstart over major incumbent offerings in this market, the new report -- entitled “Intrusion Detection and Prevention for 802.11 Wireless LANs” -- claims that the likes of AirDefense Inc., AirMagnet Inc., Red-M Communications Ltd., and Network Chemistry Inc. will have to strike OEM partnership deals or be snapped up by larger players in order to stay alive.

“The market for startups will be very tough, and OEM deals will be essential to long-term success,” argues report author Gabriel Brown.

IDS software, used in combination with a wireless LAN switch or appliance system, dedicated overlay hardware, or installed on laptops and handhelds, is used to warn administrators of attacks on the network and -- in certain cases -- prevent such attacks from happening (see Wireless IDS Is All the Rage).

This nascent market has already seen a select few startups cashing in on the insecurities of enterprise wireless LAN users, leaving the traditional vendor names playing catchup (see Unstrung Insider: Got IDS?).

“IDS vendors really need to capitalize on the product upgrade initiatives underway at major equipment suppliers such as Cisco, Nortel, Extreme, Symbol, and Proxim,” says Brown.

With the major incumbents all believed to be working on IDS applications, Brown expects to see a wave of partnerships and, possibly, acquisitions in this space. “There is evidence that wireless IDS alone is not enough of a business to live off and prosper,” he warns in Vulcan fashion.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

The report -- Intrusion Detection and Prevention for 802.11 Wireless LANs -- costs $400. An annual subscription to Unstrung Insider is ordinarily $1,250, but is currently available at the special introductory price of $899. For more information, including subscription information and research examples, go to: Unstrung Insider.

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