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Government // Enterprise Architecture

Improved Security Enables More Wireless Apps

When the California law firm of Hooper, Lundy & Bookman gave its employees wireless access to internal applications, the firm increased its billable hours by seven percent.

When the California law firm of Hooper, Lundy & Bookman gave its employees wireless access to internal applications, the firm increased its billable hours by seven percent. And Hawaii Home Loans averaged $10 million in gross revenues during its first two years of operation by giving loan officers wireless access to information needed to close loans while away from the office.

"That's how you get ahead, by being able to respond more quickly," says Leonard Loventhal, executive vice president for Hawaii Home Loans.

More companies would use wireless applications for competitive advantage if it weren't for widespread security concerns. A whopping 85% of developers see this as the major barrier preventing deployment of more wireless applications, according to the Evans Wireless Development Survey.

"The reason we stayed away from wireless was security," says Ron Shlien, chief innovation officer for The Mad Science Group. But what threatened the company in the past is no longer a danger. The company has been rigorously beta testing an appliance from WatchGuard that provides wireless data access through an integrated, highly secure virtual private network.

"There's pent-up demand for wireless," says Steve Fallin, director of Rapid Response for WatchGuard, because many companies interested in wireless are just starting to realize the protection technologies they need.

The best way for vendors to tap that demand is to deal with security up front. The new deal between Cisco Systems and AirDefense to provide integrated wireless networking products with intrusion detection is a good start.

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