VPNet Introduces Powerful New Remote Client
VPNremote 3.0 offers service providers and enterprises a unique remote access solution that provides IPSec security and digital certificate authentication without compromising ease-of-use
"VPNet Technologies, Inc., a leader in Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions for service providers and enterprises, today introduced VPNremote(TM) Client 3.0, the latest version of its Windows® compatible remote access software for VPNs. As a key component of the VPNware(TM) family of integrated VPN solutions, VPNremote Client 3.0 offers a unique array of features that greatly reduce the complexity faced by remote users, and dramatically eases the burden faced by security administrators when distributing, configuring, and managing a remote access VPN solution. [For more information on the complete VPNware 3.0 software release, see the accompanying press release, "VPNet Technologies Introduces Innovative Centralized Policy-based Management System for Large-Scale VPNs" also dated March 27, 2000.]
"The need to provide secure remote access over public networks has produced a succession of network access and security technologies that have typically proved to be overly costly to deploy, scale, and manage, as well as being overly complex for the typical end user," said R. Michael Allen, chairman and CEO of VPNet. "The resulting strain on already taxed information technology and end user technical support staffs has had the net effect of slowing down the rate of adoption and deployment of the advanced secure remote access solutions that have come of age."
Key features of this new client remote support software release include support for the ISAKMP/OAKLEY (IKE) key management protocol for IPSec; feature rich and easy-to-use GUI-based Certificate Manager, User Profile, and Connection Management utilities; a dynamic client configuration process that simplifies VPN policy distribution; standards-based support for all major PKI vendors and smartcards; and enhanced event and error logging for easy troubleshooting. Together, these features provide a client software environment that overcomes the difficulties commonly encountered in deploying and supporting IPSec VPN remote access clients.
"The principle challenges faced by organizations when deploying a remote access VPN is first, the ease with which a security administrator can deploy and manage the client software, and second, the ease with which the average end user can install, configure, and use the client software solution," Allen continued. "This overarching perspective was used to guide the development of our first release of the IKE VPNremote Client."
Easy Administration of Thousands of Users
Client software pre-configuration and distribution has been dramatically enhanced in this latest version of VPNremote. Using a unique two-phase configuration management process, VPNremote 3.0 addresses one of the most challenging areas of deploying an IPSec VPN remote access solution — the process of setting up and managing the VPN configuration and security policy information on the end user's PC. At time of install, an initialization file is used to construct a user profile containing all parameters required for the user to contact a VPNet VSU(TM) gateway, get authenticated, and have VPN policy information dynamically set up and installed. The security administrator pre-configures these parameters as a part of the VPN setup and software distribution processes — with no end-user intervention required.
Once users have been authenticated at the VSU gateway, their VPN policy information is automatically downloaded and installed on the PC. User configuration information is maintained and updated using VPNmanager(TM), VPNet's VPN management software, and is stored on the system LDAP directory server. Remote user policy information is dynamically updated each time they log on to their VPN using VPNremote's flexible, high-performance Dyna-Policy configuration protocol. The hands-off configuration process is repeated at every logon with no unwanted delays or performance degradation. This dramatically enhances the end-user out-of-box experience, and places VPN policy management responsibility where it belongs — with the security administrator. It also enables a powerful distribution model that makes feasible large-scale remote access VPN deployments and makes VPNremote 3.0 the most easily distributed IPSec VPN client in the industry.
"In deploying VPN client software, our experience has clearly shown that ease-of-use is the paramount issue," said Kamy Kavianian, director of VPN marketing for Concentric Network. "While there are alternatives when considering an IPSec VPN client, VPNet's VPNremote 3.0 offers the advanced features required to provide the robust security demanded by our managed services customers without sacrificing usability and burdening end users and support staff with unnecessary and unwelcome complexity."
Enhanced End-User Experience
VPNremote 3.0 has dramatically enhanced the end-user experience across the board — from installation, to configuration, to actual usage. Installation has been simplified by integrating all files needed for WIN 95/98/NT/ 2000 platforms within a single, small self-extracting executable. This install package contains the initialization file that has been pre-configured by the security administrator. VPNremote 3.0 users enjoy a simple "single-click" installation without being required to interpret or understand the broad range of configuration parameters. Once the remote support software has been installed, the user is responsible only to enter a username, e-mail address, and password using the intuitive and easy-to-use Connection Manager to get authenticated and begin using VPNremote.
VPNremote 3.0 provides an advanced Certificate Manager that enables end users to easily and intuitively request, import, and use digital certificates. Features such as standard protocol support for on-line certificate enrollment, and standards-based support for smartcards to store and protect RSA keys and digital certificates make VPNremote a powerful but easy-to-use certificate management tool. VPNremote 3.0 supports leading certificate authorities including VeriSign, RSA Security, Entrust, and Baltimore, among others. User's keys and certificates are also exportable as a part of a user's profile to enable them to access their VPNs without having to carry a laptop. A user can store their profile on either a smartcard or disk and access their VPN from any PC or kiosk hosting the VPNremote 3.0 software.
To ease the burden of end-user technical support faced by both service providers and enterprises, VPNremote 3.0 has been designed to be simple to install, configure, and use. VPNremote also provides a number of levels of on-board help and technical support designed to minimize the frequency — and maximize the effectiveness — of technical support calls. The first level is a comprehensive on-line help utility that presents detailed user help and technical descriptions for product features and functions performed. Additionally, detailed error messaging and an on-board event logging and viewing utility have been provided to define in simple terms the cause of problems that may be interfering with or preventing client operation, and to assist with problems requiring help desk remote support. This allows network administrators to track down problems easily and resolve them quickly.
Comprehensive and Interoperable IPSec Implementation
VPNremote 3.0 offers standards based support for IPSec VPN security. This provides a remote access solution that is robust and secure, and one that offers an enhanced level of interoperability with IPSec-based network security solutions from other VPN and security applications vendors. The VPNet implementation of the IKE key management protocol allows the use of either pre-shared secrets or X.509 digital certificates for authentication and key management. VPNremote 3.0 has been designed to be fully compliant with ICSA 1.1 IPSec certification criteria, including the extended Cryptography, Certificate Authority Interaction, and Enhanced Functionality requirements.
VPNremote Client 3.0 is available in 3DES and DES versions and is compatible with Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000.
About VPNet Technologies
VPNet Technologies, Inc. (www.vpn.com) is the first company formed with a singular focus on VPNs and is the leading provider of VPN solutions to service providers and enterprises. Founded in October 1995 and based in Milpitas, Calif., the company develops and markets cost-effective products and services for implementing high-performance virtual private networks. VPNet's scalable VPNware System delivers the highest levels of security, performance, and manageability across a wide range of VPN applications. VPNet's innovative VPNsure Services enable service providers and enterprises to outsource the design, implementation, and management of their VPNs."