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SonicWall Launches New SSL VPN Appliance

SonicWall has announced the Secure Remote Access (SRA) 1200 SSL VPN appliance, which fits between the SRA 200 and SRA 4200 models. The SRA 1200 is intended for use in SMBs, and at branch offices of larger companies, supporting between five and fifty concurrent remote users. The SRA creates SSL VPN connections for remote access to a corporate Web portal, allowing employees secure access while working remotely. It can also be used to provide controlled secure access by contractors, customers, supplies and other third parties.

"Traditional remote solutions require a thick client managed by IT," says Patrick Sweeney, VP of product management, SonicWall. By contrast, an SSL VPN can create a secure connection using only a Web browser. From any standard browser, remote users launch a personalized Web portal to access email, files, applications, and internal Web sites. IT can configure access permissions with group policies through a new unified policy management interface. The SSL VPN can be established from any Web browser that supports HTTPS, including Windows, MacOS and Linux desktop and laptop computers; PDAs, smartphones, and the iPad.

The SonicWall Virtual Assist (an optional add-on), gives IT remote access to a user's computer to perform system diagnosis and support to the remote user's computer. This avoids the user having to bring in a problematic computer, or forcing IT to travel to the remote user or spend hours on the phone. It also avoids the need for IT to install and maintain a fat client or other user-side solution. The IT administrator can get remote access to the user's PC whether the administrator is at the corporate headquarters or a remote site.

The new product also includes SonicWall Virtual Access, an extension of Virtual Assist, which lets users access their own computers remotely through a Web browser, if they've already installed the Virtual Assist module on their computer (and the computer is powered on, and online). Other features include NetExtender, a light-weight on-demand client for customers who want full Layer 3 connections to access resources that aren't browser-based. The appliance also offers A Web application firewall, for customers who have public-facing Web servers. Customers that want to add an extra layer of security to these servers can use the SRA to detect cross-site scripting and other malicious attacks that target Web applications. The SRA 1200 also supports some degree of secure access from "untrusted" machines, by being able to provide one-time PADs (single-use passwords) to users via text message or SMS. "This is good for SMBs who do not want to implement two-factor authentication, such as with tokens," says Sweeney.

The SonicWall SRA 1200 can be deployed alongside any third-party firewall, according to the company. The SonicWall SRA 1200 is available now and starts at $1,095 for the base configuration. For enterprises, SonicWall also announced version 10.5 of Aventail, its E-class SRA series of clientless SSL VPN products, which can support thousands of concurrent VPN users and sessions through a single appliance.