Consortium Grades, Ranks SSL VPNs

The VPN Consortium unveiled two tests in its certification program for ensuring real-world usability of SSL VPN gateways. Among other things, the tests explored which SSL VPN tools excel at on-the-fly URL rewriting for all kinds of protected content.

More than a dozen devices were tested, but only nine received the VPN Consortium logos that indicate passing marks. Those nine are: Caymas SSL VPN family Connectra line from Check Point Software Technologies Cisco Systems' VPN 3000 Concentrator series FirePass Controller from F5 Networks NetScreen Instant Virtual Extranet from Juniper Networks SSL VPN family from Nokia Nortel Networks' VPN Gateway portfolio SafeEnterprise SSL iGate from SafeNet E-Gap Remote Access appliance from Whale Communications Paul Hoffman, director of the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based trade group, said the tests were designed to help VARs winnow down the number of SSL VPN tools they can sell to customers looking for improved security.

"The last thing a reseller wants to do is place a system at a customer's site that doesn't do what the customer needs," Hoffman said. "We give them a shortlist that helps them decide where to start."

Hoffman hailed the nine tools as "best bets" for the SSL VPN marketplace.

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Bill Thomas, president of GTC Solutions, a solution provider in Kansas City, Mo., that specializes in Caymas' SSL VPN products, said the tests prove what he has known all along.

"Products like [these] provide comprehensive internal access control and help enterprises to detect and deny threats at any point in a transaction," Thomas said. "We can provide value beyond what customers expect and arm them with tools that allow them to meet the growing security challenges of today's business environment."