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Aventail shores up firewalls

Aventail releases final versions of its Security Manager and Aventail AutoSocks 2.0 client software.

Aventail announced today that final versions of its Security Manager and Aventail AutoSocks 2.0 client software are available from its Web site.

As CNET reported last week, both products are based on the Socks5 security standard, which the Gartner Group consultancy expects to be widely adopted by firewall vendors. Aventail said Security Manager and AutoSocks 2.0 let companies manage and authenticate their employees access to the Internet and local networks.

Security Manager works with firewalls or routers but allows authentication based on user names, not just Internet Protocol addresses, as firewalls do. It also prevents direct connections between internal and external machines and offers other management features for network administrators.

"Ease of management is emerging as a critical issue for network security products. Centralized security management is not only more cost effective--it's more secure," Ted Julian, research analyst at International Data Corporation, said in a statement.

AutoSocks 2.0 software allows users to pass through any firewall based on Socks4 or Socks5, thus simplifying the use of more secure circuit-level firewalls. Otherwise, applications software vendors would have to recompile their TCP/IP applications to work with Security Manager.

Aventail will release a beta version of its next-generation AutoSocks 3.0 software this month.

Security Manager costs $1,495 for the first 20 users. AutoSocks 2.0 costs $49 per user for the first 25 users, with lower rates after that.