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Stepping up network security

Security Dynamics broadens its security offerings with its first family of products for secure single sign-on for corporate networks.

Security Dynamics (SDTI) today broadened its security offerings with its first family of products for secure single sign-on for corporate networks.

These new products in the BoKS family, acquired in July when Security Dynamics bought Sweden's DynaSoft for $115 million, also secures Unix host computers.

The announcement marks another step in Security Dynamics' effort to move beyond its core markets of hardware security tokens (SecurIDs) and secure remote access, controlled using its ACE/Server software. In February, the company announced an "enterprise security framework," a road map of the various offerings it intends to offer, either alone or through partners.

"Customers are looking for a single security architecture or a single vendor," Security Dynamics' Dave Power, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, said at that time.

"Our vision is secure information access. It's an end-to-end security solution from the user to the information, with digital certificates, access control agents, one security management console for all of it," Power said last week. "We have everything we need to integrate and bring to market."

The strategy has resulted in two notable acquisitions, Dynasoft in July and encryption firm RSA Data Security in 1995.

In today's announcement, Security Dynamics said it's shipping a new version of DynaSoft's BoKS 4.4, which works with new versions of BoKS Desktop and BoKS Connect as a system for secure single sign-on.

Secure single sign-on lets users log onto a corporate network once to enter any data or application they are authorized to use, thus removing the need for a separate sign-on or credentials for each application or database.

BoKS Manager 4.4 also allows administrators to secure networked Unix servers and workstations. Security administrators are authenticated using Security Dynamics' hardware security tokens for access to specific security tasks on a server.

BoKS Manager 4.4 strengthens Unix security with authentication, access control, system monitoring, and audit for a network of workstations and servers. Its auditing features let managers monitor user activity, alert them to possible security violations, and keep protected records of all users.

The secure single sign-on suite encrypts data between the user desktop and the target application using RSA cryptography. It includes desktop software called BoKS Desktop, ToolBoKS toolkit, BoKS 4.4 Manager, and BoKS Connect to protect applications and databases.

The desktop product uses software or smart cards to store digital certificates that verify a user's identity, while BoKS Manager controls access rights for groups or individuals from a single location. It also has an embedded certificate authority to issue digital IDs for users and host computers.

BoKS Connect uses security agents that let managers add security features to applications without changing application code. BoKS Connect agents are now available for Oracle, Sybase, and Informix Software database servers, plus Telnet and HTTP for Internet applications.

Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard incorporate the BoKS single sign-on technology in their single sign-on offerings, Power said.

The BoKS software runs on Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX platforms. Prices start at $3,100 per server and $2,750 for 10 desktop seats.