Tech Industry

Sun expands, embeds security

The company will unveil a new version of its firewall and signal its intent to build firewall capabilities into its Solaris operating system.

Look out firewall vendors--here comes Sun Microsystems (SUNW).

Expanding its security offerings, Sun will on Monday unveil a new version of its firewall and signal its intent to build firewall capabilities into its Solaris operating system by June.

Initially, Sun will bundle its firewall, remote access, and server-side security software into a single application package called SunScreen Secure Net. But that's just a first step toward embedding those security components in its Unix operating system.

"We're trying to change the market," Walt O'Maley, product line manager for SunSoft's security unit, said. "We're going beyond the firewall to secure the business network so customers can do creative things on the Internet."

Sun is among the companies using next week's RSA Data Security conference as a venue to outline their game plans on the security front.

RSA's parent company, Security Dynamics (SDTI), will flesh out its Enterprise Security Services architecture, largely dormant since it was outlined last February, into a full product line.

Also, Network Associates (NETA), which has been on a buying spree, will use the RSA conference to showcase its "security blueprint," pulling together security offerings from acquisitions Pretty Good Privacy, an encryption and secure email company, and Network General. Network Associates was formed in last year's merger of Network General, maker of the CyberCop intrusion detection system, and antivirus firm McAfee. (See related story)

Sun's road map shows that by March it will release a new version of its SunScreen EFS firewall, priced from $3,000 for 100 users. Also in the new SunScreen Secure Net bundle: SKIP encryption products for both clients and servers (including a virtual private network or VPN product), and Sun Security Manager 4.4, a centralized management console.

Sun also plans to announce a specialized consulting service for enterprise security.

Its SunScreen application includes authentication, encryption, and key management for intranets and extranets. By mid-year, Sun expects to add client encryption for Windows 95 and Windows NT systems, thus covering remote access crypto for telecommuters and corporate road warriors.

By mid-1998, O'Maley said Sun will embed security software into the Solaris operating system that ships with Sun hardware. It also promises by year's end to integrate its security technology with the Solaris network management console and Sun's Internet directory, allowing IS departments to control security and manage their networks from a single point.

Pricing for the SunScreen Secure Net bundle begins at $10,000. Sun will continue to resell firewall software from Check Point (CHPKF).

Sun's JavaSoft unit also is expected to announce early access to its Java Cryptographic Extension (JCE), which adds advanced encryption and data security to the Java Developers Kit (JDK).