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Check Point secures dial-up users

Check Point releases an enhancement to its client encryption software to let remote users connect securely to virtual private networks through dial-up links over the Net.

Security firm Check Point Software Technologies (CHKPF) today released an enhancement to its client encryption software to let remote users connect securely to virtual private networks through dial-up links over the Net.

Version 3.0 of FireWall-1 SecuRemote adds tunneling and strong client encryption for mobile and remote users to safeguard virtual private networks (VPNs) from outside intruders. It works in conjunction with FireWall-1's server encryption software on the Internet gateway to boost security for Windows 95 laptop users to send email or sensitive data over an intranet or extranet.

"Tunnels" use encryption to scramble sensitive data and to mask IP addresses, thus denying information about a corporate network to potential attackers.

Industry sources said Security Dynamics (SDTI), which is partnering with Check Point in today's announcement, will use SecuRemote 3.0 client encryption in a new personal VPN product Security Dynamics is expected announce this week. The new product, called ViPN, would be distributed by resellers for both Security Dynamics and Check Point.

SecuRemote is designed to make dial-up connections as safe as secure communications behind the corporate Internet firewall. For stronger authentication, it replaces password log-ins with hardware tokens from Security Dynamics, SafeWord software authentication from Axent Technologies, or strong RADIUS authentication (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) from Vasco Data Security and Secure Computing, a firewall rival of Check Point.

New tunneling features in SecuRemote 3.0 hide the IP addresses to which data is being sent, concealing network information on an internal network from outside parties. SecuRemote also lets clients connect to internal sites using unregistered IP addresses. Tunneling ensures the safety of data and IP destination addresses in transit over the Internet.

VPNs, which use encrypted tunnels through the public Internet to partners or remote locations, are growing in popularity, even though IS managers still worry about Internet security. A recent Gartner Group study predicts that by 2002, 90 percent of enterprises will use VPN services for switched services for remote workers and branch offices.

"We've already seen significant growth over last year in the sales of our FireWall-1 Encryption Module, which works hand-in-hand with SecuRemote," Asheem Chandna, Check Point vice president of business development, said in a statement.

By complying with the RADIUS standard, SecuRemote can work with other vendors' software, a key consideration for extranets.

SecuRemote 3.0 is available now at no charge to customers of FireWall-1 and FireWall-1 Encryption Module software; the encryption module, priced from $2,995, is required to operate SecuRemote 3.0.

Separately, Check Point announced a distribution deal in Japan with Softbank, one of the largest PC software distributors in Japan. Softbank also named Check Point as the only firewall vendor in its security initiative called "Security Bank."