FRAMINGHAM (11/07/2003) - Cisco Systems Inc. Monday is expected to announce it will include SSL remote access support for free in its IPSec VPN concentrator devices with a version of software due out in January.
Called WebVPN, the software enables remote PCs to use Web browsers to establish secure connections with corporate networks over the Internet. At the same time the Cisco 3000 family of concentrator supports remote-access and site-to-site IPSec VPN connections.
WebVPN allows access to any Web-based applications and to e-mail based on Post Office Protocol, Internet Message Access Protocol, and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, as well as Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web Access, Notes and iNotes. It also enables file sharing via Windows' common Internet file system. It supports client-server applications via port forwarding, using a Java applet downloaded to the remote machine during a remote access session.
The SSL support will be available on Cisco 3005, 3030, 3060 and 3080 concentrators. They will support connections to most SSL-enabled browsers as well as many browsers for wireless devices.
Cisco is also announcing a price cut for the 3005 and a software upgrade that boosts performance. The number of simultaneous IPSec users that the device supports is now 200, double the previous number. The device with additional user support now costs US$3,000, down from $4,000.
On the roadmap is a plan to delete temporary files created on the remote machine so later users of the machine cannot obtain sensitive data that might have been downloaded.
In an unrelated announcement, Cisco recently introduced small-office routers with multiple security features. Called Cisco 1711 and 1712, they boost the performance of the existing 1710 routers, which will be phased out over time. VPN encryption speed jumps from 5M bit/sec in the 1710 to 15M bit/sec in the new boxes. Firewall speed increases from 6M bit/sec to 20M bit/sec. The number of intrusion signatures they seek is up from 57 to 100. The price, $1,300, is the same as it was for the 1710.
The difference between the two new routers that the failover port for the 1711 is an analog modem and is an ISDN port for the 1712.