Zebra Making Strides in Wireless Market

Company touts direct thermal wireless mobile printers supporting VPNs and WPA as a market first

Company touts direct thermal wireless mobile printers supporting VPNs and WPA as a market first

Vernon Hills, IL — July 15, 2005 — With international growth in wireless networks continuing at a rapid pace, Zebra Technologies said it has introduced the first direct thermal wireless mobile printers that support virtual private networks (VPNs) and Wi-Fi protected access (WPA).

VPNs are considered one of the most secure ways to protect data that is transmitted over a wireless network. WPA, based on IEEE 802.11i standard, provides data protection by using encryption as well as strong user authentication.

"By embedding VPN, WPA and other security technologies in our mobile/wireless printers, Zebra ensures a safe, private connection to a company's network, which minimizes the risk of security threats and associated business recovery costs," commented Robert Danahy, Zebra's director of global mobile and wireless technology.

He added that using secure wireless printing solutions assists companies in industries such as retail, manufacturing and healthcare to safely extend and globally deploy their applications.

In the past, most VPN software was proprietary, making the systems costly and unaffordable for most mid- and small-sized companies. But now, as VPN software becomes more mainstream, Zebra said it is helping to make mobile wireless security available to companies of all sizes by making it easier to implement on peripheral printers.

According to recent report by Gartner Inc., an industry research firm, wireless infrastructure and applications are among the top five technology and application priorities for manufacturing companies. Among these priorities, companies ranked security as their top IT initiative as a means to enhance productivity and boost customer satisfaction.

Another Gartner report also noted that companies must address the need to maintain the security and integrity of their networks, applications and data, especially as the number of mobile workers, modes of enterprise connectivity, and methods of external access grow rapidly. "Encryption is essential to protect the data carried on public networks. Virtual private network (VPN) technology is the primary encryption method," the report stated.