Motorola acquires wireless security maker AirDefense

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Telecommunications firm Motorola has acquired AirDefense, provider of wireless LAN security.

Motorola announced Monday it is acquiring AirDefense, maker of wireless LAN (local area network) security solutions.

Terms of the deal, expected to close in a few months, were not disclosed.

The acquisition will complement Motorola's existing portfolio and its "all-wireless enterprise vision," Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business President Kathy Paladino said in a statement.

AirDefense, founded seven years ago, produces a wireless intrusion prevention system, designed to monitor wireless networks for rogue traffic and conduct incident analysis, forensics and remote troubleshooting, according to the company's website.

Lisa Phifer, president of Core Competence, a consulting firm, said the acquisition does not come as a surprise because Motorola had already been reselling AirDefense solutions as part of its RF Management Suite.

"Given Aruba's acquisition of Network Chemistry last summer, and now Motorola's
purchase of AirDefense, one wonders how much longer it will be before WLAN
vendors snap up the remaining independent wireless (intrusion prevention system) companies, notably, AirTight [Networks] and AirMagnet," she told in an email on Tuesday.

"This continuing trend underscores the growing importance of full-time wireless surveillance and response in enterprise WLANs - this need can only increase as wireless moves from nice to have to mission critical."

AirDefense was co-founded by Jay Chaudhry, who founded CipherTrust in March 2000 before selling the email security firm to Secure 2006 for more than US$270 million.

News of the deal comes on the same day as Motorola announced it was reorganizing its non-handset business into three units.

As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Motorola's home and network business will no longer include handsets, which have been plagued by a decline in cell phone sales.

The non-handset division now will be comprised of television set-top boxes and modems, cellular network equipment and wired and wireless broadband network equipment.

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