October 6, 2008
F5’s FirePass Solution Simplifies Secure Access Management for Enterprises and Enhances User Experience
F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced a new version of its award-winning FirePass(R) SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) solution. With FirePass, enterprises can manage employee and external access to business applications, keep mobile users connected, and enforce compliance with strict HIPAA, PCI, and GLBA requirements.
"Making access to corporate information flexible and simple is key for enterprises struggling to manage and secure mobile workforces," said Jeff Wilson, Principal Analyst at Infonetics Research. "There isn't a single access policy that fits every situation, so vendors need to provide customers with a choice of templates to suit their particular policy and access requirements, and the flexibility to modify templates as needed. This is particularly critical for evolving corporate governance and compliance mandates."
To ensure compliance and ease of management, the FirePass solution now offers an industry-first combination of Windows Group Policy enforcement with pre-defined templates that enable customers to extend Active Directory (AD) Group Policy to non-domain endpoints. For mobile users, FirePass features improved support for popular mobile devices such as the iPhone and Windows Mobile handsets. iPhone users can sync their email, calendar, and contacts directly to the corporate MS Exchange server via FirePass and the ActiveSync protocol.
"Traditionally, performance can take a hit whenever new security solutions are introduced," said Sebastian K. Sullivan, Manager, Information Security & Computer Operations at Southern Illinois Healthcare, a not-for-profit healthcare system. "FirePass enabled us to offer secure access to our users without limiting application performance or tying access to specific client devices."
As an SSL VPN secure access solution, FirePass provides browser-based access to corporate applications, networks, and information. FirePass enforces policies to ensure all devices that access corporate information adhere to a company's individual security standards.
Highlights of the new FirePass solution include:
Extended and enhanced policy enforcement and security to non-trusted devices -- With Windows Group Policy enforcement, FirePass' Visual Policy Editor enables network administrators to conveniently provide authenticated, encrypted, and policy-based access to all authorized users accessing corporate resources. Group policies can be pushed to devices not part of an enterprise's AD domain, a unique capability of FirePass. This provides a consistent method of applying policies from the enterprise to remote devices not part of AD, including roaming laptop users, branch office machines, and kiosks, and affords customers convenient interoperability with existing infrastructure. FirePass now offers optional Group Policy executable templates, including those for PCI, HIPAA, and GLBA.
Broadest support for application and client access -- To maximize customer value, FirePass has broadened its support for applications and clients, including enhanced support for Mac and Linux environments. FirePass has support for accessing any IP-based application in the enterprise network and offers the broadest multi-platform support for secure SSL VPN network access when compared to IPsec (Internet Protocol security) products.
Convenient, secure access for mobile users -- FirePass supports an increased number of end-user devices including iPhone and Windows Mobile clients, granting users secure access to business information from anywhere. By enhancing access to corporate materials for mobile and remote users, organizations can extend application access beyond the traditional corporate domain.
"The challenge of providing secure access as business, security, and compliance requirements change has prompted a number of enterprises to deploy SSL VPN solutions over IPsec alternatives," said Jason Needham, Sr. Director of Product Management at F5. "Today, enterprises require a secure access solution that not only addresses remote users and those on the LAN, but supports all types of wired and wireless connections. With FirePass, F5 enables customers to simplify management for all types of users. F5's policy-based approach delivers the flexibility that enterprises need to securely make corporate data and applications available to employees--without sacrificing performance or convenience."
The new version of the FirePass SSL VPN solution is available now. Existing F5 customers with current FirePass maintenance agreements and hardware platforms can take advantage of all the capabilities included in the new release. The Group Policy feature is available as an add-on license, with templates included.
For more information on FirePass, please visit www.f5.com/products/firepass/.
About F5 Networks
F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast, and available for everyone. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications and optimize the data storage layer, F5 extends the power of intelligent networking to all levels of application delivery. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability. Over 16,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information, go to www.f5.com.
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