Motorola is adding vulnerability assessment to its wireless intrusion-prevention system (IPS) device so that organisations can scan for security holes in Wi-Fi and wireline networks.

AirDefense Wireless Vulnerability Assessment, expected to ship next month as a software module for Motorola's wireless IPS sensor, will be able to emulate a laptop to validate the security posture of the customer's environment.

"If someone can get into your wireless network, this would show how far they could get," says product manager Michael Raggo.

AirDefense wireless security sensors often are used by being mounted high within retail stores. Typically, two or three sensors would be required to cover a 100,000 sq. ft. area, depending on obstacles such as thick walls that could limit wireless coverage, Raggo notes. Sensors are managed via an appliance.

The new vulnerability assessment capability is intended to address requirements in the PCI Security Standards Council's Data Security Standard 1.2 as well as the more recent wireless security guideline on protection of payment cards, which was issued in July.

In the context of PCI, the goal is to limit the scope of access to payment-card data through firewalls and other types of restrictions, and the vulnerability-assessment function would be able to tell if access to card-payment data is set up correctly according to corporate policy. The tool, which could be set up to run continuously, presents an alternative to more manual penetration-scanning tests that would be done by a security consultant.

Pricing starts at $295 (£179) for the wireless vulnerability-assessment module. The sensors cost about $500 apiece, with the management console appliance priced at about $6,000.