Organizations tasked with safely connecting their employees to the corporate network are under pressure to not only accommodate various devices, but also offer multi-platform support. In fact, analysts predict  that through 2017, 90% of enterprises will have two or more mobile operating systems to manage! Adding to this pressure is the recent onslaught of Windows 8-based systems in the enterprise, which means the demand for secure remote access solutions is following suit.

Heeding this call for adaptation, NCP engineering has upgraded its enterprise IPsec VPN client suite to offer compatibility with laptops and tablets running Windows 8, in particular, its Professional and Enterprise editions. The centrally managed remote access software also supports devices using Windows 7/Vista/XP 32-/64-bit.

NCP has also added several new security benefits to its enterprise IPsec VPN client, including prompting users via warning messages if they fail to log on to hotspots without established Wi-Fi connections. When this occurs, the software solution advises users on creating suitable connection profiles, and helps them determine if alternative network selections are necessary.

The NCP Secure Enterprise Client also includes the recently added Access Point Name (APN) management feature, which eliminates the need to manually update each device’s APN when switching out SIM cards from different mobile operators. For more information on the new product version and how NCP is meeting Windows users’ evolving remote access needs, check out the full press release here.

This is part two in our Q&A series on SSL VPNs. Earlier this week, we shared insight from Rainer Enders, CTO, Americas at NCP engineering, on the inception of SSL VPN and its key differentiators.

Q: What are the core strengths of SSL VPN, and when might enterprises choose to go with this protocol over IPsec VPN?

Joerg Hirschmann: The pre-installed, SSL approach is ideal for situations in which one doesn’t require transparent connections for secure remote access. For instance, SSL VPN is an optimal solution when enterprises must grant limited access to external associates or partners needing connections only to specific applications (e.g. web-based) or administrative access to specific machines through RDP or SSH sessions. However, the ideal secure remote access solution takes a hybrid approach combining the strengths of both SSL and IPsec.

Q: What about choosing to go with software solutions versus hardware appliances?

Joerg Hirschmann: A software solution is the ideal fit for a virtualized central environment, whereas appliances are usually a better fit in branch offices or a smaller environment without virtualization in place.

If you have any questions on VPNs, the IPsec and SSL protocols or anything else related to secure remote access, send them to editor@vpnhaus.com. 

 Joerg Hirschmann is CTO at NCP engineering GmbH

This is part one in our Q&A series on SSL VPNs.

Q: When SSL VPN followed IPsec VPN into the world of remote access, what was its initial purpose? How did it differentiate?

Rainer Enders: SSL VPN was introduced to address various shortcomings of IPsec VPN, such as usability, interoperability and scalability. In particular, the IPsec client-based approach was regarded as a process that was difficult to manage from both administrators’ and users’ perspectives.

When SSL was initially introduced, it was considered a client-less technology. The terminology “client-less” was created to differentiate from the IPsec client-centric approach. Obviously, SSL VPN is not client-less, as a client is still involved and is typically in the form of a web browser. Therefore, the key differentiator between the two approaches is that the SSL VPN client comes pre-installed on all OS platforms in the form of the browser, whereas IPsec VPN is separate software that, in many cases, must be installed.

Q: When should companies use a browser-based SSL VPN for secure remote access? How does this differ from applications of a Thin Client SSL VPN?

Rainer Enders: When deploying SSL VPN, great care must be taken to implement and secure the digital signature architecture. Web proxy and thin client SSL are restricted to certain access modes, and as such, should only be used in projects with limited scope with compliant access environments. SSL VPN should not be used for high security environments, as there are more points of attack and vulnerabilities.

Rainer Enders is CTO, Americas, at NCP engineering.

Stay tuned for more expert insight on SSL VPNs later this week from Joerg Hirschmann, CTO at NCP engineering GmbH.

*Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared in TechTarget’s SearchNetworking.com 

By Rainer Enders, CTO, Americas, NCP engineering

Both systems can enhance mobile device security at different levels. Typically, a mobile device management system provides for standard device management features such as configuration management, backup capabilities and remote wipe, along with logging and reporting. The enterprise application store provides for the capability to safely test and deploy chosen applications. As such, the company has greater control over the mobile device application environment. It can ensure the integrity and security of the applications as well as deliver a better user experience along with greater productivity. Meanwhile, enterprise application stores can be a particular advantage for heterogeneous device platforms.

 

NCP engineering is proud to announce that it has been named a finalist in the IPsec/SSL/VPN category of Info Security Products Guide’s 2013 Global Excellence Awards. The NCP Secure Enterprise Solution was once again recognized for its superiority in providing comprehensive security to companies with large, complex remote access environments.

Designed to make secure remote access simple, the NCP Secure Enterprise Solution is a centrally managed software
solution that provides IT staff with total end-to-end security, unlimited scaling, complete policy freedom and multiple VPN system setup and control. Comprised of the NCP Secure Enterprise Clientthe NCP Secure Enterprise VPN Server and NCP Secure Enterprise Management (SEM), the solution is interoperable with all major network-layer security technologies, including VPN gateways and firewalls.

The information security research and advisory guide’s recognition of NCP further demonstrates the company’s market leadership, having recently been named a finalist in the 2013 SC Magazine Reader Trust Awards for its SEM 3.0. Patrick Oliver Graf, general manager, Americas commented on this sustained momentum:It’s an honor to be recognized by Info Security Products Guide and continue our streak of awards. This distinction is a testament to our holistic remote access VPN solution, which continues to meet the demands of today’s increasingly mobile workforce while fulfilling enterprises’ security and management requirements.”

Stay tuned, as the winners of Info Security Products Guide’s 2013 Global Excellence Awards will be announced at a banquet dinner in San Francisco on February 27, 2013.

InfoSec 2013