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Remote access under control with Aventail

Aventail's new feature on its virtual private network (VPN) software lets network managers control which files a remote user can enter on a corporate network.

Aiming to beef up Windows NT security for remote access, Aventail will add a new feature to its virtual private network (VPN) software that lets network managers control which files a remote user can enter on a corporate network.

The feature, called Secure Enterprise Explorer, allows managers to open or to limit access to particular files, disk drives, or applications to a specific user not on the corporate network, thus offering a secure alternative to traditional file browsing.

"If you want to make NT file servers available to an extranet, the question is how to map a stronger security system on top of that. To do it, you have to do a secure gateway," Aventail chief executive Evan Kaplan said.

The new feature puts a new icon on a user's Windows desktop, letting remote users--telecommuters or business partners with access to an extranet--see only specific files. It lets network administrators open access to selected 32-bit Windows-based file systems without compromising network security.

Aventail beefs up the relatively weak Windows NT authentication by enabling RADIUS, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), CHAP, SecurID hardware tokens, and digital certificates to authenticate users. It also adds stronger encryption including DES, Triple DES, MD4, MD5, SHA-1, and Diffie-Hellman.

No additional user training is required because Secure Enterprise Explorer integrates with the Windows desktop.

The Secure Enterprise Explorer feature will be included free in Aventail VPN 2.6, due to ship by April.