Industrial Ethernet device maker GarrettCom this week added secure Web-based access capabilities to its management software.GarrettCom, which also makes switches for telecom environments, insists that plant managers and industrial engineers expect a high level of security in Web-based management, on a level with the kind of technology that secures financial transactions. With the upgrade to its MNS-6K Ethernet management software, GarrettCom says it can offer that.Release 3.0 of the software uses SNMPv3, Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security, giving the Web server embedded in the company\u2019s switches the ability to handle Secure HTTP transactions. This way, network managers can manage the switches remotely, using a Web browser, without fearing that an unauthorized individual might do the same.GarrettCom compares this to previous secure management, which involved plugging a console directly into a switch or using a telnet session. Obviously, accessing a switch over the Internet is immensely more convenient, but industrial users don\u2019t trust Web-based management, thinking that disgruntled employees or terrorists might be able to get in as well.The Web server can perform authentication to verify the identity of whoever is trying to access the Ethernet switch and can encrypt passwords as they traverse the Internet. GarrettCom says it is the first industrial Ethernet switch vendor to offer this level of security.The new management capability was demonstrated at the ITE Show in Orlando, Fla., this week. The software is available on the company\u2019s Magnum 6K-Series Managed Switch, and current owners can get a free upgrade.