New wrinkle offered in secure access

Neoteris Inc. is a company in search of an identity. Analysts are calling their product a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN.

'We really resisted that,' said Vivian Ganitsky, the Mountain View, Calif., company's product marketing manager. 'But it appears to be sticking.'

The company prefers the term virtual extranet appliance for its Access line. While a VPN works at layer three of the protocol stack and allows access for authenticated users to a host, Access works at layer 2 and allows granular access to specific applications and files. The device, which sits behind the firewall and in front of the servers, communicates with the servers in their native protocols, so no Web plug-ins or other modification to the servers are needed. All the client needs is a Web browser, so unlike a VPN no client software is needed.

'We never let the user request to directly to the network,' Granitsky said.

Whatever you call the product, Neoteris announced at the FOSE 2003 trade show that the two high-end models, Access 3000 and 5000, have received FIPS 140-2 certification for hardware encryption devices. The company is hoping this will open the door to the federal market.

Access already is being used at several NASA locations and by the Coast Guard, and it is being beta tested by several other agencies. The company already has had success in the state and local market and in the commercial sector.

The Access 1000, the smallest of the family, is an enterprise grade appliance that does not support differentiated group access and so can be used for only one group or class of remote users. The 3000 allows differentiation for multiple groups and can be clustered to improve throughput and provide fail-over. The top-of-the-line 5000 reduces latency with hardware-based compression, SSL acceleration and has a dual Gigabit Ethernet interface.

Contact Neoteris at 650-605-4800.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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