Tools bar remote network intruders

SonicWall Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., and InfoExpress Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., have each come up with products that work at different ends of a remote enterprise network connection to keep it from becoming a back door for intruders.

SonicWall's $545 Tele3 Trusted Zone appliance gives an administrator more control over telecommuters' systems, said David Dorosin, director of product management. It segregates a telecommuter's home network from the virtual private network connection to the enterprise.

In contrast, the $6,500 InfoExpress CyberGatekeeper Server audits remote systems to confirm policy compliance before permitting a connection.

"Our customers have been asking for a remote desktop enforcement tool for a long time," said Todd Nakano, vice president of sales and marketing at InfoExpress.

SonicWall's Trusted Zone, installed at the remote site, combines an IP Security-compliant VPN using triple Data Encryption Standard encryption, a stateful packet inspection firewall and an automatically updating antivirus program. Keeping the ports separate for home and work reduces the risk of admitting intruders through a VPN connection.

VPNs can be configured to prevent their use by a home network, but the configuration is not foolproof and adds complexity, Dorosin said. "At that point you enter a state of war with your telecommuter," he said.

Trusted Zone accommodates both sets of users. The work port can be centrally managed through SonicWall's Global Management System and can allocate bandwidth to the VPN connection.

Remote user

CyberGatekeeper works on the enterprise side of the connection, enforcing security policy for a remote user. A software agent running on the remote system lets the server audit the network connection before allowing access. CyberGatekeeper works with VPN, extranet, dial-up, and wireless or wired LAN connections.

The vendor-neutral server software supports any third-party security application, including VPNs, personal firewalls and antivirus programs. That avoids the problem of a remote user's intentionally or accidentally misconfiguring security tools.

Contact SonicWall at 888-557-6642, InfoExpress at 650-623-0260.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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