As expected, Cisco Systems has beefed up security for its wireless LAN product line to help prevent hackers from hijacking a user's identity during an authentication session.
Cisco will start offering a free software patch that will allow users to add Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP) protection to existing 802.11b or WiFi wireless LAN systems. PEAP helps defeat intruders by making it hard for hackers to run a "man in the middle" attack during an authentication session.
Cisco bundled the PEAP patch with an upgrade to its VPN/Security Management Solution and its Access Control Server, which provide security software, such as VPNs, to both wired and wireless networks.
Cisco is also part of an industry-wide group that plans to offer users tougher encryption than the current built-in WLAN Wired Equivalent Protocol by the end of the year. The group includes Microsoft, WLAN chip suppliers and hardware manufacturers.