• United States
Executive Editor

Vendors target remote-access security

Aug 16, 20043 mins
Network SecurityNetworkingRemote Access

Juniper and WatchGuard are coming out with new gear to provide small businesses and corporate offices with remote-access technology that can be managed from central consoles.

Juniper and WatchGuard are coming out with new gear to provide small businesses and corporate offices with remote-access technology that can be managed from central consoles.

Juniper is introducing a trimmed-down version of its Instant Virtual Extranet (IVE) Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) remote-access software on an appliance called Remote Access 500 that supports 10 to 50 simultaneous connections and ranges from $4,000 to $7,000. Before, Juniper’s smallest appliance, the SA 1000, supported as few as 100 users for $15,000.

By comparison, an A-Gate 60 SSL remote-access appliance from AEP Systems, which sets low price as a goal, costs $7,000 for 50 users, the same price as the RA 500. Aventail’s smallest SSL appliance, the EX-750, costs $10,000 with a 50-user license.

The RA 500 is streamlined for small companies that might lack the IT staff and expertise to configure all the features of a full-blown IVE appliance. So Juniper has cut out the ability to cluster RA 500s, limited access controls to one option, and stripped out support for Security Assertion Markup Language, which enables full single sign-on capabilities.

But it does include advanced features such as software to check that computers making remote connections to the device are protected by anti-virus software and a firewall, and that running applications are legitimate. At the end of a session, it cleans out temporary files used during the session.

“I don’t think anybody gets down to that much functionality for 10 users,” says David O’Berry, director of IT for the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in Columbia, S.C., who beta-tested the RA 500.

The RA 500 is available in three models: the 510 for 10 users at $4,000; the 525 for 25 users at $5,500; and the 550 for 50 users at $7,000. They differ only in the number of user licenses they support. Upgrading from the 510 to the 525 costs $2,050, and upgrading from the 252 to the 550 costs $2,200.

Meanwhile, WatchGuard is introducing wired and wireless versions of a new IPSec VPN appliance that supports remote access to small offices. Called Firebox X Edge, each can be bought with license for five, 15 or 50 simultaneous users.

Mike Pearson, WAN and security administrator for the Salvation Army Central U.S. division in Chesterfield, Mich., says he regards the edge devices as the next generation of WatchGuard’s small office/home office (SOHO) 6tc family.

A SOHO 6tc appliance that provides a 75M bit/sec firewall and 20M bit/sec VPN for 10 users costs about $300. A Firebox X Edge for 15 users with a 95M bit/sec firewall and 35M bit/sec VPN costs about $580.

Later this year, WatchGuard is set to ship a wireless version of Firebox X Edge that supports 802.11 b and g Wi-Fi standards. The wireless versions range from about $570 for a five-user license to about $1,150 for unlimited users.