Have you installed a wireless LAN (WLAN), or are you considering a wireless installation? Have you identified how you will implement network security or staff, patron, and guest authentication? Sirsi and Bluesocket have worked together to provide wireless security and authentication in a library environment. Bluesocket is a leader in the wireless security and authentication space. They already had a great product with many possible authentication, encryption, and management tools, but what they didn’t have was the SIP2 authentication protocol. Sirsi has worked with Bluesocket to include SIP2 into their Wireless Gateways. The partnership with Bluesocket enables Sirsi to deliver security and management to library WLANs. Bluesocket's Wireless Gateways integrate seamlessly with Sirsi's patron authentication servers, preventing unauthorized user access while allowing library patrons simple and secure authentication to the library's WLAN network. Library administrators can control user access to its servers and services and manage bandwidth usage on incoming and outgoing traffic to protect against the possibility that one person engaged in a high bandwidth activity (such as downloading MP3 files) could adversely affect network performance for other users. The Sirsi Bluesocket Wireless Solution brings the highest level of security directly to a patron's 802.11 mobile device - without requiring them to install software on their device.
The Wireless Gateways come in four different sizes: 1) the WG-400 supports up to 50 simultaneous wireless users and eight access points; 2) the WG-1100 supports up to 100 simultaneous users; 3) the WG-2100 supports up to 400 simultaneous wireless users; 4) and the WG-5000 supports up to 1000 simultaneous wireless users. The gateways have two network connections and sit between the switch supporting wireless access points and the library LAN providing services such as Internet access. The gateway “forces” wireless users to authenticate before they are allowed access to the services that the library has made available for that group of users. You can have roles configured for patrons, staff, guests, and others. Each role can be configured to allow different types of access, bandwidth management, length the user can be connected, and what days and times they can be connected. The solution is highly configurable.
Let’s say a patron walks into your library with their 802.11 wireless laptop and opens up a browser. The Bluesocket Gateway will present that user with a login screen if they are within the library’s wireless access point signal. The patron then can use their library card number and PIN number to login. For staff wireless users, we may use a Radius server or 802.1x or many other possible methods to authenticate that staff member and allow them access to the Unicorn software and/or other services. You could provide a SIP2 login card for guests at the front desk or let them login using their email address or not provide access to them at all. If you did provide guest access, you could limit time, bandwidth, and access to resources. Each library configuration is unique and based on the wants and needs of that organization.
The Sirsi Bluesocket Security and Authentication Solution is a comprehensive security and management platform providing users with easy, intuitive, and secure wireless access and administrators with the tools they need to effectively secure and manage their WLAN. If you would like more technical information or pricing, please contact your Sirsi client account manager.