GCN Insider | Cranite Systems' SafeConnect: The end of VPN?

At last month's MILCOM conference in Atlantic City, N.J., Cranite Systems Inc. of Los Gatos, Calif., took the wraps off what its vice president of engineering calls virtual private LAN technology. In a preconference briefing with GCN, Cranite's Mike Coop said the company's SafeConnect platform provides better security to remote users than virtual private networking by effectively extending a network's security perimeter to wireless hotspots and other public infrastructure. 'It's like being on your network at the office,' Coop said.

SafeConnect includes a client program, access controller and management server. It employs Layer 2 network security to encrypt payloads and hide port and protocol information that hackers could pick up. The technology is expected to receive FIPS-140-2 validation next year.

Touching base after MILCOM, Coop said his group demonstrated how SafeConnect protected a system against client-side denial-of-service attacks that could bring down traditional VPN clients, while enabling multicast and file-sharing capabilities that VPNs tend to fumble.

In a note to GCN, Coop wrote, 'Obviously, as the security layer, we're but a single component in any enterprise solution, but by enabling administrators to treat end-user application needs holistically, independent of location, we're going to make a huge impact.'

The technology will be used for a first-responder network in New York City as part of the Geospatially-Aware Urban Approaches for Responding to Disasters program. GUARD is run by the National Technology Alliance [www.nta.org], a government program set up to adapt commercial technology to national security and defense needs. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is NTA's lead government agent.

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