Secure Remote Access
According to an IDC report, "U.S. Mobile Worker Population Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006", by the end of 2006, approximately two-thirds of all US workers will be mobile - in very different forms than the stereotypical traveling executive or sales person dialing in from a hotel room to check his email.
These mobile workers are knowledge workers with an "anywhere, anytime" attitude towards work; in a meeting room at a client's site; in a coffee shop or airport; or from their office at home. In addition, many companies extend their networks not only to mobile employees but also to trading partners, consultants and customers around the globe.
This increased emphasis on mobility has driven unprecedented demand for access to corporate data and information that resides on corporate networks, intranets and applications.
The IT Challenge
Most of these companies still rely on IPSec or Point-to-Point VPN's to ensure secure access to corporate networks, data and information. IPSec VPN's struggle with NAT (network address translation) traversal, access control for traffic in the tunnel and client management. Distributing IPSec clients to remote machines and configuring them for access is challenging, especially when the IT department does not have easy access to remote computers. Further, because they operate at the network level, IPSec VPNs effectively provide the remote personal computer with full network visibility, as if it were a computer located on the corporate local area network. Policy enforcement and security controls cannot be easily applied in this model. For these reasons, remote access IPSec VPNs typically result in a high total cost of ownership.
The Business Impact
With IPSec, the corporate IT department dictates the technology used on both ends of the tunnel. This makes remote access an expensive proposition. To control the cost, IT organizations have had to restrict the number of users and to protect the integrity of the data they insist on provisioning company owned laptops. These virtually incompatible goals limit the productivity benefits they were intended to deliver and introduce unnecessary acquisition costs and complicate IT operational support and maintenance.
More importantly, few companies are willing or able to mandate the technology their business partners or customers use and this limits the extranet capabilities of an IPSec VPN.
The SSL VPN Solution
AccessAnywhere and the EX-1500 SSL VPN appliances are hardened application access gateways that fits seamlessly into heterogeneous data centers. These data centers are often comprised of legacy and client/server applications, UNIX/Linux servers, or OS/390 and AS/400 machines as well as web applications that reside on intranet web servers. For companies seeking to provide secure remote access for employees and business partners, the challenge is to provide access to these critical legacy applications in a simple way that provides the same access-on-demand as they get for their web-enabled applications.
SSL-VPN's provide a plug-n-play alternative to traditional methods of secure remote access for mobile users or for partners/customers. Because AccessAnywhere requires no client to deploy or install, and requires no changes to internal servers, it radically reduce total cost of ownership and increase productivity and security.