One Building, One Sensor

By Eric Griffith

November 29, 2004

Highwall's IDS system gets a software upgrade but keeps its claim to fame: using one network probe to check out all the air traffic in a building up to five stories high.

Highwall Technologies of Sarasota, Fla., today announced version 3.0 of its Highwall Enterprise intrusion detection system (IDS). The company's claim to fame is using a long range sensor called Highwall Sentinel—hardware with enough of a reach that just one unit can monitor the air in a single office complex.

"A five story building might need eight to twelve access points, but might only want a few boxes for monitoring," says CEO Rich Swier. "So we build the Sentinel to have extensive range, to do an entire building by itself."

The Highwall 3.0 suite includes a Web-based management server that's installed on the customer's network. It monitors all the long-range Sentinel 1000 sensors, checking all the air traffic across multiple buildings if needed. It places the information in a database accessible from any network node.

The company also sells the Highwall Scout, a high-gain antenna specific to the Sentinel. "It's a special antenna with great coverage area," says Swier. "We can cover vertically where others can't with their 'rubber ducky type' antennas—our coverage is spherical."

The Sentinel and Scout together get a line-of-sight range up to a mile and a half, according to Swier.

The company also offers a smaller version of the Sentinel, model 500, for smaller businesses. Like its big brother, it will report back to the management console automatically when connected to the network.

Components of the Enterprise 3.0 platform have been integrated with Computer Associates' Wireless Site Management 4.0 tools. Like many IDS product makers, Highwall says a fair percentage of its customers are companies with a strict no-wireless policy.

"With us, they don't need as many sensors," says Swier. "Our customers also don't want a walk-around solution."

The Enterprise 3.0 suite, including one Sentinel and two Scout antennas (one covering 5GHz 802.11a, the other covering 2.4GHz 802.11b/g), starts at $4,995.

Future versions of the Sentinel -- the 1100 -- will feature the ability to shut down intruders. Current customers with a Sentinel 1000 will be able to upgrade to the Sentinel 1100.



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