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Quad/Graphics Embraces SSL

After evaluating the risks and the alternatives, the company reached a difficult decision: It was time to replace the IPsec VPN with new technology based on SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

Although IPsec currently is the industry's most widely deployed VPN architecture, SSL VPNs are catching on fast. San Jose, Calif.-based Infonetics Research expects SSL VPNs to nearly double in the next two years. Security concerns are the main reason why organizations are reluctant to adopt VPNs, according to a recent Infonetics study.

Slow, Steady Transfer

Quad/Graphics' move toward SSL has been gradual. So far, about 80 percent of the company's suppliers and a small number of its media clients have switched over to SSL VPN access. Using Juniper Networks' NetScreen Secure Access 3020 VPN appliances (Juniper acquired NetScreen this past spring), Quad/Graphics' suppliers gain SSL-based access to applications over the VPN, rather than tunneling a client through as a network node. This approach is safer for Quad's customers, which are accustomed to using FTP. The plan is to place all new customers on the VPN and migrate existing customers next year.

In the interim, Quad/Graphics' print customers have a choice: They can access page proofs via a conventional FTP session or the more secure way, FTPing through the SSL VPN. "They either use an FTP client or see their file share on the server," Drewek says.

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