Motorola To Buy Wireless Security Vendor AirDefense

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The terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the acquisition is expected to close in the next few months.

AirDefense is a privately-held maker of wireless intrusion prevention solutions (WIPS) and software applications that enable companies to secure their networks against wireless security threats and comply with regulatory and industry standards.

Established in 2001, AirDefense develops solutions that monitor the wireless spectrum and use access points as sensors, along with add-on modules that can address specific wireless security problems and RF troubleshooting. Additionally, AirDefense enables multi-vendor environments, which lets companies use its solutions regardless of their WLAN infrastructure. AirDefense solutions can be used for rogue wireless detection, policy enforcement and intrusion prevention both inside and outside a company's physical location and wired networks.

Sujai Hajela, Motorola's Enterprise Wireless LAN division vice president and general manager, said that WIPS solutions, like AirDefense's, have gained traction as wireless LANs have become more pervasive, spanning industries from the federal government to financial services.

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"Industry compliance requirements such as Payment Card Industry Data Security (PCI DSS) and heightened security awareness have fueled the need for comprehensive compliance, enforcement, forensics and reporting, which is offered by AirDefense solutions," he said in a statement. "This transaction is a tremendous opportunity for Motorola to enhance its WLAN portfolio by utilizing AirDefense's relationships and further integrating WIPS security solutions into our WLAN infrastructure offering."

The AirDefense buy falls in line with Motorola's recent push to promote the all-wireless enterprise, a company that can operate wirelessly, with no need for a wired network. As part of its all-wireless vision, Motorola has recently unveiled a new line of 802.11n-based networking gear and created a wireless-specific partner program. The AirDefense buy fills a void in Motorola's WLAN portfolio by adding a new level of security.

The AirDefense acquisition also comes at a time of transition for Motorola, which in March split its Mobile Devices Business and Broadband and Mobility Solutions Business into two separate publicly-traded companies. Motorola has also undertaken a $500 million cost-reduction initiative, which resulted in the layoffs of hundreds of employees, mostly engineers, in its Plantation, Fla., facility, which houses several operations, including mobile devices, government and public safety and home and network mobility divisions.

"As wireless security remains a leading concern for enterprises, we are excited to announce this transaction with AirDefense, which enables Motorola to deliver a common platform solution for greater indoor and outdoor protection to wireless LAN networks in support of our all-wireless enterprise vision," said Kathy Paladino, president of Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business, in a statement. "AirDefense is a renowned pioneer in wireless security with strong intellectual capital. Based on our trusted and valuable partnership through the years, we are confident that the combination of Motorola's WLAN infrastructure and AirDefense's best-of-breed features will further enhance our network security offerings and better secure our customers' networks."

Upon completion of the transaction, AirDefense will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola and will be integrated into Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business. Motorola said it will maintain AirDefense's Alpharetta, Ga., headquarters as a component of Motorola's WLAN operations.