US Defense Department beefs up wireless LAN regulations


The new WLAN rules will help "enhance current security posture and set a foundation and road map for increased interoperability that embraces open standards," Price said.

The original 2004 directive said that more complex commercial wireless data encryption by the department would be required as it became available from commercial vendors, Price said. That led to the June 2 update, he said. The previous wireless encryption rules were more general, reflecting the less specialized offerings then on the market, he said.

By using the 802.11i standards, the military can "leverage commercially available equipment instead of having to develop our own," Price said. Higher government certification programs are then used to ensure that the commercial products provide the necessary protection before they are bought and integrated, he said.

"You establish standards, industry builds up to those standards, then you go farther than that," he said. "That certification process is stipulated in this memo as well."