Pune-based startup AirTight networks, which provides wireless security products, has announced that it is making wireless security available as an online service. The customer has to buy some wireless sensors (little plug-n-play hardware accessories) and attach them to appropriate machines in their company, respond to a few questions about their wireless setup and that’s it. Within a few days they begin to receive wireless security reports. There are no servers or software to buy, configure, or administer – because all the data analysis and report generation is hosted on AirTight’s servers over the internet.
The major benefits of this are ease of installation, ease of use, and most importantly the investment needed can be ramped up gradually. The simplest system costs just $2 per day as opposed to the upfront $20000 capital investment that would be required otherwise. In addition there is a free 30-day trial. This makes it easy for enterprises that are interested in wireless security but are worried about paying too much for something that they are unsure about.
The services provided are vulnerability assessment (“There are hackers outside your office on the North side!”), vulnerability remediation (“And I’ve blocked their wireless signals! Yippie!”), and regulatory compliance (“And here is a report you can show SOX auditors to prove that you’ll done all that’s humanly possible to protect customer data”). Each of these three is a separate offering that is priced independently.
this was a smack-myself-in-the-forehead moment – why not provision IDS/IPS as a service, effectively leasing the infrastructure and offering the rest as a managed service? This is positively brilliant, and AirTight Networks has now done precisely this with their new SpectraGuard Online service, launched today.
I’ve seen a number of security-as-a-service offerings for small wireless LANs, but this is the first time I’ve seen such a service for large organizations. And I’m willing to bet this business model could become very popular indeed. As WLAN technology continues to change rapidly, and as one is never, ever “done” when it comes to security, AirTight has broken some important new ground here. The question, of course, is how this model might extend to other elements of network infrastructure. And it just might.