SSL networking heats up

Tuesday, 11 November 2003, 2:58 PM EST

Cisco Systems became the latest company to introduce a virtual private network (VPN) product based on secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption when it announced on Monday that it would add the feature to its 3000 series of network concentrators. The hardware devices act as a single access point into corporate networks and give telecommuters and branch offices a secure connection to internal networks.

"We really see this as extending the remote access capabilities of our products," said Scott Pope, manager of VPN technologies for Cisco. "It makes a lot of sense to have both built on the same box."

Cisco is only the latest company to join the wave of interest in SSL products. The big three in the industry are Aventail, Neoteris and SafeWeb, said Dave Kosiur, senior analyst for the Burton Group, an industry research firm. Two out of those three have been acquired recently: Neoteris was bought by network security appliance maker NetScreen, and SafeWeb was bought by security technology company Symantec.

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