SOURCE: Network Chemistry

May 22, 2006 08:00 ET

Network Chemistry Wireless Threat Index Exposes Significant Corporate Risk for Data Loss

Industry's First Index Analyzes Data From Thousands of Laptops and Warns That Widespread Use of Unsecured Mobile Devices Threatens Confidential Data and the Integrity of Corporate Networks

REDWOOD CITY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 22, 2006 -- Network Chemistry Inc., the wireless security experts, today announced the Network Chemistry Wireless Threat Index™, the first and only ongoing index to track and reveal trends that help enterprises and government organizations protect themselves from emerging wireless threats. The index analyzes over 700,000 network connections across a wide range of devices -- and warns that widespread use of unsecured mobile laptops and devices threatens organizations' networks, data, and users.

The explosion of wireless usage has enabled a new and dangerous vector for access to confidential data, and wireless attacks can damage the integrity of corporate networks and assets. The company established the Network Chemistry Wireless Threat Index to monitor these threats and assess the ongoing risk. Attacks on wireless LANs (WLANs) and breaches of 'no wireless' policies are a quick and easy way for hackers to steal data and enter the corporate network. The wireless network has the same challenges as the fixed, wired network, and organizations must have a pre-emptive plan of action to prevent wireless attacks and policy violations that can compromise their data privacy and regulatory compliance. Security managers need to plan for, monitor, and mitigate potential wireless threats as well as react quickly when any breach occurs.

"With the rapid expansion of mobile and wireless technologies, organizations are seeking more tools to help them assess risk and monitor potential threats, such as those coming from unsecured laptops, which leave a back door open to their networks," said Chris Waters, CTO of Network Chemistry. "Network Chemistry's Wireless Threat Index provides a detailed, ongoing way for IT and security personnel to better understand and track emerging wireless threats, putting them in a position to mitigate any potential risks."

The data for the analysis used in the Wireless Threat Index was gathered from thousands of laptops running the RFprotect™ Endpoint product and the vast array of connections they made in offices, on the road, and in homes. The index consists of several components:

--  Risk Profile: Describes the various types of wireless-related threats
    such as ad-hoc connections, unknown access points (APs), VPN violations,
    and lack of firewall protection that organizations and their endpoints face
--  Connection Methods: Covers the different interface types used when
    endpoints make a network connection
--  Known vs. Unknown Connections: Describes the percentage of connections
    to authorized vs. unknown networks
    
Analysis of the data has already disproved a number of pre-conceived notions about the use of laptops and risks organizations face, including:
--  Wireless connections are rarely made to unknown networks (Report
    finding - 36 percent of all wireless connections were made with unknown
    APs)
--  Users do not connect to wireless and wired networks at the same time
    (Report finding - 37 percent of the endpoints analyzed had network bridging
    enabled)
--  Ad-hoc networks are seldom used (Report finding - 63 percent of the
    endpoints analyzed had an ad-hoc connection turned on or tried to connect
    to one)
--  Users actually use their VPN clients (Report finding - 68 percent of
    the endpoints experienced violations of VPN policy)
    
The data highlights the fact that endpoints remain a serious security risk to organizations that have confidential data and need to comply with stringent compliance or regulatory mandates. The reports can help organizations evaluate where they are at greatest risk and help to promote best security practices and prioritize investment in wireless security solutions.

Availability

The first industry report for the Wireless Threat Index is available now; the reports will be issued on a quarterly basis. For more information, go to www.networkchemistry.com.

About Network Chemistry

Network Chemistry is the industry standard for securing the mobile enterprise. The world's most successful enterprises and demanding government agencies trust Network Chemistry's wireless security solutions to prevent attacks, detect vulnerabilities, intrusions and policy violations, accelerate incident response, and conduct surveys for wireless LAN deployment planning. Network Chemistry has received numerous accolades, including being recognized as a Red Herring 100 company, receiving the top score in SC Magazine's "Wireless Security Group Test," as well as its "Global Award," and "5 Star Winner" honors; Network Computing's "Best Value," for two consecutive years; and 802.11 Planet's "Best of Show." The company is headquartered in Redwood City, California. For more information, visit www.networkchemistry.com or call 1-888-952-6477.

All product and company names herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

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