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Juniper Takes Security to Endpoints

Juniper Networks has launched a new initiative designed to improve interoperability of popular third-party antivirus and firewall measures with its own Secure Socket Layer Virtual Private Network appliances.

SSL VPN technology helps workers, customers and partners access local area networks through any Web browser. The ability to use a browser rather than install software on each laptop is touted as an advantage over competing IPsec security offerings, which require users to download interface software onto their laptops.

But the convenience also raises the specter of exposing the corporate network to IT threats such as trojans, malware and keystroke logging that can occur via unsecured computers.

To address this, Juniper's SSL VPN appliance line now works with products from InfoExpress, McAfee, Sygate Technologies, Trend Micro and WholeSecurity to check laptops, PCs and kiosks for known vulnerabilities and policy violations before completing the VPN connection.

"Customers do need an array of security options," Jason Matlof, senior director of products, told internetnews.com. We're not naive enough to think we can develop our own firewall and have that be the be-all end-all."

The new offering also allows IT administrators to manage the appliance and security software from a single interface.

Matlof said there was a strong interest from the security firms Juniper contacted. Their core offerings have little overlap with Juniper's products, he said.

Industry watchers like the move.

"While all SSL companies should partner with endpoint security companies, there is value to increasing embedded and default security measures," John Girard, vice president at IT research Gartner, said in a statement.

Juniper, which is best known for routers for service providers and large corporations, gained security applications with its acquisition of Neoteris.

Earlier this month, Juniper moved to bring SSL VPN to small and medium businesses with a low-cost version of its appliance.



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