Novell Rolls Out Network Security, Directory Add-Ons

Software developer Novell Inc. announced Monday a series of
administrator tools that makes it easier for businesses to get their
employees online with a minimum of hassle.

Secure Access, a package of utilities running $159 per user until June,
gives remote and corporate users a single point of access to their
company’s intranet, making multiple logins and passwords a thing of the past.

There’s nothing more irritating for business travelers and telecommuters
than having to remember a slew of login/passwords settings to enter their
boss’ Web site, whether they connect by a dial up, virtual private
networking (VPN) or wireless phone connection.

Paul Smart, Novell net directory division general manager, said
Secure Access is his company’s answer to the problem.

“Novell Secure Access gives companies the assurance that all their users —
employees, customers and partners — have convenient and immediate access
to the information and applications they need, without the hassle of
managing dozens of user IDs and passwords,” he said. “Equally important,
the solution enhances network security by creating a common security
infrastructure — an infrastructure that is not based on individual
hardware or applications, but rather on users’ identities, their roles and
responsibilities within a company.”

Novell Secure Access comes as a complete package or in single
components. The packages point to the blurring line between directory
services and keeping company’s secure.

The components include:

  • eDirectory Directory service, which lets administrators assign priority
    levels for access, depending on whether the person is an employee, customer
    or partner
  • NDS Authentication database to store user account creation, deletion
    and modification regardless of platform (Windows, Solaris, Linux, OS/390,
    etc.)
  • iChain Security feature that lets administrators control user access
    with a single login
  • Modular authentication service, which manages login methods, regardless of
    whether it’s a password, smart card, digital certificate or biometric
    device
  • SecureLogin, which lets employees or other users access the intranet with
    one login and password
  • BorderManager, Novell’s answer to the proxy server, it controls and
    monitors it’s employees Internet access.

Jonathan Penn, an analyst with the Giga Information Group, said the merging
directory/security solutions makes sense and will eventually be
incorporated with many upcoming products.

“The directory service streamlines the management and broadens the
accessibility of identity and access control information, allowing for more
complex relationships between systems, business units and organizations,”
Penn said. “In the past, directory integration has been a nonessential
feature, offering
only occasional competitive advantage for those security solutions that had
developed it. Moving forward, lack of directory integration will become a
competitive liability for those enterprise security solutions that do not
have it.”

According to Giga, the costs associated with the many logins and passwords
an employee must remember will eventually bog down help desks who will need
to devote increasingly more time to resetting passwords.

As am example, Giga used a 20,000-employee company that gets an average of 3,000 help desk calls a month. If only 30 percent deal with resetting
passwords (with each call costing $32.50 to $57.50 to make the fix), the
company would incur yearly costs ranging from $351,000 to $621,000.

“By eliminating the management of multiple passwords and granting access to
all relevant applications with a single login, SecureLogin is a huge boost
to employee productivity and internal security,” Smart said. “SecureLogin
drives an impressive return on investment by virtually eliminating the time
and money wasted on lost or forgotten passwords.”

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