RSA To Offer Big-Company Security To SMBs

The solution--which has been designed specifically for businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees--bundles hardware and software in a security solution formerly available only in configurations suited to large companies and organizations. RSA said the rack-mountable appliance can be installed in 15 minutes.

"Now, RSA SecurID is available as a hardened appliance, meaning users do not have to pay for a separate server on which to deploy RSA Authentication Manager," said Jason Lewis, RSA's vice president of product management and marketing, in an interview. "This is now a hardware-appliance solution, as opposed to the customary software solution."

Lewis noted that the hardware part of SecurID Appliance eschews the use of CD drives; access to data can only be gained through the network. The server involved in providing the solution has been specifically built for the appliance. Customer support for the solution's hardware and software is provided by RSA.

The SecurID Appliance provides users with elaborate reporting capabilities for meeting burgeoning regulatory requirements.

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RSA has hardened servers utilizing the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system based on Microsoft and National Security Agency guidelines, the IT-security firm said. In addition to RSA SecurID Appliance, the bundled solution includes RSA SecurID tokens and RSA Authentication Manager 6.0 software.

"RSA has taken the RSA Authentication Manager and loaded it directly onto a server, which is based on a hardened Windows Server 2003 platform," Lewis said in describing the solution. "Under the traditional model, customers would buy the RSA software, then procure a server, load and harden the operating system, then load the RSA software. With this announcement, RSA has essentially made it easier for the end user."

The bundled solution for SMBs is priced for different groups of users starting at 10 (about $4,000) to 250 (about $37,000.)

Lewis noted that market-research firm IDC has predicted that 80 percent of security solutions will be delivered via appliances by 2008. Two-factor authentication is gaining interest, as more SMBs move to conduct business on the Internet.

RSA's SecurID two-factor authentication system asks users to identify themselves with two unique factors--typically something they know, such as a password or a PIN, as well as something they possess, such as an RSA SecurID token. The token generates a one-time pass-code every 60 seconds. Before a user can gain access to secure data, both factors must be presented.