• United States
Executive Editor

SSL VPNs as a disaster recovery technology

Apr 11, 20062 mins
HDTVsNetwork SecurityNetworking

* SSL VPNs get government backing

Juniper, like a lot of other security vendors, is getting its gear certified to sell to the federal government.

Just this week the company says its SA 4000 and SA 6000 SSL gateways meet the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS), which means federal agencies can use them if they want to.

With the emphasis on homeland security, security vendors in general are seeking this certification as a way to get their foot in the door for a potentially lucrative new market.

The reasons the government might be interested are instructive as well for private businesses. Just as a government agency might be the target of an attack, so too might a corporation. Or some other emergency might have the same effect of an attack.

The big example being tossed about is bird flu. If the virus that causes it morphs and becomes transmittable from person to person rather than from bird to person only under extreme circumstances, millions of people in the U.S. could become sick. Between those who are actually sick, those healthy but taking care of sick people and those staying home to avoid becoming sick, there will be lots businesses seeking ways for people to work from home.

While SSL VPNs are certainly not the only way, they are a very flexible way to deploy this capability. Many businesses that already have remote access networks don’t have them set up to accommodate the large numbers that would need to use them in an emergency like a catastrophic bird flu outbreak.

For that reason alone, businesses should put SSL VPNs on their short list of possible disaster-recovery technologies.