• United States
Executive Editor

Check Point and Intel look to mobile security

Feb 25, 20032 mins
Check PointMobile SecurityNetworking

* VPN Auto-Launch

Check Point has been working with Intel to customize Check Point VPN-1/Firewall-1 for Intel’s forthcoming mobile hardware platform called Centrino.

The resulting Check Point software offers a feature unique for this platform called VPN Auto-Launch, which boots up a VPN tunnel between a Centrino-based notebook and a VPN gateway.

When the user logs on to the corporate Wi-Fi network, the VPN software is automatically launched in the background. This relieves the end user from having to launch the VPN separately and perhaps enter a separate password.

The feature is included in the client software that runs on individual devices that connect remotely to a corporate VPN. Called SecureClient, the customized features for the Intel platform are included in the client that comes with VPN-1/Firewall-1 NG Feature Pack 3.

Also included is support for two-factor authentication based on Intel’s Trusted Platform Module Architecture. This architecture embeds a digital certificate within a chip in the Centrino platform. Two-factor authentication would traditionally be supported by a separate device supplying the certificate, and this is generally considered the strongest authentication method.

This collaboration addresses two problems with 802.11 wireless networks. The Intel part is designed to be more compact and drain battery power less than traditional notebooks. The Check Point half addresses the problem of security that concerns many users of wireless. Running a VPN over the network can protect data as it crosses the wireless part of the network, and Check Point’s new features make doing so less odious to end users. Making anything easy makes it more likely that people will use it.

The Check Point software for Centrino is available now, and Centrino itself is due out this spring. Intel and Check Point say they have a multiyear agreement to continue customizing the Check Point platform for Centrino, but would not provide further details.