Juniper Improves Mobile Networking Security

Junos Pulse aims to provide secure access for multiple mobile platforms.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Feb 17, 2010
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As enterprises become increasingly mobile, the need for secure remote access on mobile devices also grows more critical. Securing mobile data isn't just about securing devices, though: It's also about ensuring the security of network transport infrastructure. Networking vendor Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) is now aiming to solve both ends of the mobile security equation and it's already got buy-in from two major mobile carriers, Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

The company's new effort, Juniper Mobile Secure, includes the Junos Pulse downloadable secure connection technology for mobile devices. On the infrastructure side, Juniper is enhancing mobile data security with its SRX service gateways for mobile service providers.

The new mobile security push from Juniper comes as the networking vendor ramps up its wireless efforts with Project Falcon to intelligently route mobile traffic by building a mobile packet core for Juniper's universal edge routers.

"Mobile networks need to secure everything from the handset all the way to the network and the applications," Greg Maudsley, senior manager for product marketing at Juniper Networks, told InternetNews.com.

On the mobile client side, Junos Pulse leverages Juniper's SSL-VPN technology for use on wireless devices. SSL-VPNs provide secure VPN tunnels using SSL encryption.

"This allows the employee that comes on to the network with a shiny new smartphone to get their device in line with corporate policy so they can safely access corporate applications and data," Maudsley said.

Enhancements for mobile devices, wireless carriers

Juniper is offering a couple of different approaches for enabling smartphone users to create an SSL-VPN connection with Junos Pulse. There is a native client model in which the user clicks on a specific client application to start a secure connection. There is also a browser-based approach that enables users of any smartphone with a browser to connect to corporate assets by way of an SSL-VPN gateway.

Juniper expects to officially launch Junos Pulse in the second quarter of this year with the initial platforms for native clients being Symbian and Windows Mobile.

On the wireless network service provider side, Juniper is boosting the capabilities of its SRX gateways to meet growing needs.

"We've increased the scalability by 20 percent for up to 10 million concurrent connections," Maudsley said.

Juniper is also now introducing the capability to inspect the GPRS tunneling protocol and the control traffic relative to it. With that capability, Maudsley said, service providers will be able to better protect their packet core network and scale traffic.

Mobile data security also gets a boost with Juniper's AppSecure on the SRX, which provides deep packet inspection.

"If the system does detect anomalous behavior, it can take action at the IP level or by shutting down servers," Maudsley said.

Juniper is already seeing strong mobile carrier interest in its SRX gateways. The SRX series first debuted in 2008 and competes against Cisco's ASR series routers.

This week, both Sprint and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), announced that they had each selected Juniper's SRX to secure their respective mobile networks.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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