Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

Product Watch: New Patents Help Upstart Make A Ruckus In Wireless Security Management

New technologies promise to simplify the configuration and administration of Wi-Fi security

Ruckus Wireless yesterday announced it has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for an innovation that radically simplifies the configuration, administration, and strength of wireless network security.

The patent is one of nearly two dozen patents granted to Ruckus, with dozens more pending approval, according to the company.

The new technique, commonly known as Dynamic Pre-Shared Key (PSK), effectively eliminates the tedious and time-consuming manual installation of encryption keys, passphrases, or user credentials needed to securely access a wireless network.

Dynamic PSK dynamically generates strong, unique security keys for each authenticated user, automatically installing these encryption keys on end user devices with little or no human intervention, Ruckus says.

As Wi-Fi network usage grows, many companies have used a passphrase that must be shared among many users and manually entered into client devices. If this "preshared key" becomes known or stolen, then it must be changed for all users and manually re-entered into every client device, according to Ruckus.

An alternative to the preshared key approach is a security framework such as 802.1x, which requires information, such as unique certificates or supplicants, to be installed on every user device. Deploying such systems requires a high level of technical expertise, as well as ongoing technical support for users, Ruckus says.

Integrated into all Ruckus ZoneDirector wireless LAN controllers at no cost, Dynamic PSK technology is device-independent and works on laptops and handheld Wi-Fi enabled devices. When a user initially accesses the wireless network, they are authenticated through a captive portal on the Ruckus ZoneDirector. This information is checked against any standard back-end authentication server, such as Active Directory, RADIUS, or an internal database on the ZoneDirector.

Once the user has been successfully authenticated, Dynamic PSK technology automatically generates a unique encryption key for that user device, Ruckus explains. This key is downloaded to the client and automatically configured, along with the requisite Wi-Fi information. This eliminates the need for manual configuration.

Each Dynamic PSK is bound to a specific client device and has a configurable lifetime. With Dynamic PSK, organizations control the length of time each key is valid in increments of hours, days, weeks, or months. Once the key expires, users must reauthenticate. If a user device is stolen, then others on the network are not at risk, Ruckus says. Network managers need only delete the compromised user or device record in their authentication databases.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 11/19/2020
The Yellow Brick Road to Risk Management
Andrew Lowe, Senior Information Security Consultant, TalaTek,  11/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: He hits the gong anytime he sees someone click on an email link.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7779
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-26
All versions of package djvalidator are vulnerable to Regular Expression Denial of Service (ReDoS) by sending crafted invalid emails - for example, [email protected]-----------------------------------------------------------!.
CVE-2020-7778
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-26
This affects the package systeminformation before 4.30.2. The attacker can overwrite the properties and functions of an object, which can lead to executing OS commands.
CVE-2020-29128
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-26
petl before 1.68, in some configurations, allows resolution of entities in an XML document.
CVE-2020-27251
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-26
A heap overflow vulnerability exists within FactoryTalk Linx Version 6.11 and prior. This vulnerability could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to send malicious port ranges, which could result in remote code execution.
CVE-2020-27253
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-26
A flaw exists in the Ingress/Egress checks routine of FactoryTalk Linx Version 6.11 and prior. This vulnerability could allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to specifically craft a malicious packet resulting in a denial-of-service condition on the device.