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Director, Network World Test Alliance

Juniper’s Secure Access SSL VPN appliance is Best of the Tests winner

Mar 02, 20063 mins
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* Juniper's security device wins in Network World's Best Products Special Issue

Editor’s Note: Tim Greene is taking a short break from the VPNs newsletter and will be back soon. In place of his regular column, we bring you news of this year’s winner of Network World Lab Alliance’s security infrastructure category.

Juniper Networks has gone two for two – Secure Access SSL VPN Appliance swept the competition in our December ’05 test of 11 SSL VPN products as well as the finalists in this Best of the Tests category for the second year in a row.

Network World Lab Alliance member Joel Snyder called the Secure Access SSL VPN Appliance “the best choice for most enterprise deployments from among the [SSL VPN] products we tested.” The appliance posted high scores across all test areas, including access control, interoperability, manageability, user portal experience, high availability and authentication. Juniper received 4.5 out of 5 points.

In determining Juniper as the Best of the Tests winner, we also took into consideration reader interest in the blowout SSL VPN test, which had more than 70,000 Web hits in three weeks.

The Juniper appliance should make your short list for complex access-control environments, especially where there are difficult application-translation problems and extranet-focused line-of-business projects, Snyder said. Also impressive is Juniper’s thinking in areas such as client efficiency (with its combination SSL VPN/IPSec VPN approach to remote access), and the extreme management and deployment flexibility of the Secure Access product, he added. “There’s almost no SSL deployment where putting Juniper in would be a big mistake, an endorsement we don’t give lightly,” he said.

Since our test, Juniper has enhanced the endpoint defense capabilities by integrating Symantec’s malware protection. This lets users provide secure employee and partner remote access with increased protection from eavesdropping threats. The integrated malware protection is dynamically provisioned to the endpoint, so no client software needs to be installed on individual computers.

With its December acquisition of Funk Software, Juniper picked up technologies that protect the integrity of the network by ensuring both the user and the device meet an organization’s security policies before they are granted access. This technology will be integrated into the SSL VPN appliances, Juniper says.

FUTURE TESTS: This year, we’ve already taken an exclusive look at Juniper’s new Secure Services Gateway 520 and 550 gigabit firewalls, and we’ll continue to test new and interesting product twists in that market. We’ll be pushing the performance of intrusion-prevention systems in late spring and testing the abilities of the new products on the market geared toward thwarting zero-day attacks.

Click here to read about the product-mastermind behind Juniper’s winning product and a review of the product from a user’s point of view. And at this link, you will see an index of articles about the winners of the other product categories including network infrastructure, security management, client security and messaging.

Christine Burns is director of the Network World Lab Alliance. She can be reached at: