Nortel, which makes both IP Security VPN and Secure Sockets Layer remote access gear, has added features to its SSL software that make it possible to ensure the security of remote PCs trying to access corporate networks.The company's SSL VPN software release 4.1 now inspects the remote machine to determine whether it has appropriate security measures - such as a firewall - in place before allowing it access to the network.This type of protection is becoming more common among SSL remote access vendors because the security of the remote machine can jeopardize the security of the corporate network. By rejecting admission to the network altogether or approving restricted access, network security staff can better protect the network.Another security feature being added shuts down SSL connections after a set period of inactivity. This prevents someone from sitting down at a remote machine that has been inadvertently left unattended in the middle of an SSL remote-access session and taking over. At the same time the software wipes out caches of the session activity preventing the next user of the machine from gleaning information that would allow the reestablishment of a connection.Nortel is also adding support for User Datagram Protocol (UDP), a connectionless alternative to TCP that is less complex and, therefore, able to deliver data quicker. This support is key for enabling real-time applications such as streaming media and collaboration.In addition, the software now supports Web-based management access to the Nortel Alteon SSL switches, making managing the machines more flexible.The software upgrades are available now.