• United States
Executive Editor

Big IPSec guns help push forward SSL movement

Jun 17, 20032 mins

* Nokia, Nortel, Check Point announce support for SSL remote access

Nokia’s support for Secure Sockets Layer remote access makes it undeniably apparent that this technology is here to stay despite it being a still-tiny market.

The company announced that it has written software for its IP series of hardware so the appliances can support SSL-based Internet remote access, which is secured by SSL encryption supplied by a Web browser. Formerly, the hardware was used just to run Check Point VPN-1/Firewall-1 software and ISS’ intrusion protection software. The platform can support either the firewall/VPN or the SSL remote access, but not both at the same time.

Other players also have announced support for SSL remote access. Nortel announced the support of the technology in two platforms, its Alteon SSL appliances and its Passport 8600 routing switch, via SSL cards. Check Point has announced it can terminate SSL sessions, but doesn’t support non-Web traffic. With Nokia entering the game, this leaves only Cisco among the top IPSec VPN vendors listed by market research firms without SSL remote access support.

Cisco literature says it will support SSL remote access during the second half of this year, but not exactly how.

A host of other vendors specialize in this technology with more sophisticated offerings than those of the top IPSec vendors and are scrambling to stand out from each other. Some experts believe that when Cisco enters the market it will do so by buying up one of these dedicated SSL vendors, a pattern that Cisco has followed time and time again.

Industry observers predict that within a few years, SSL remote access support will reside in routers. Based on the move of big router vendors and IPSec vendors to get in the game, that time is getting closer.