Aventail Stresses Mobility in Newest VPN

Aventail is touting enhanced and simplified remote access in a new release of its VPN product, the first to drop numeric version names.

The company’s senior director of product management, Randy Boroughs, refers to SSL-based VPN Aventail ST as “one secure gateway for all remote access.” In an interview with Enterprise Networking Planet, he stressed the software’s ability to tune access to resources based on the nature of the device connecting to an enterprise network.

“Type in a single URL … and our adaptive accessing capabilities will figure out if you’re a big form factor device or a small form factor device,” Boroughs said.

One example of that device-driven presentation involves mail clients. According to Boroughs, a laptop attempting to access e-mail resources through Aventail ST’s portal interface would be directed to Outlook Web Access, while a smartphone following the same link would be directed to Outlook Mobile.

Other new features since the May release of Aventail 8.5 include direct support for Citrix and Windows Terminal Server applications, and “Native Access Modules,” which provide either ActiveX or Java-based tools for access to resources from Windows, MacOS and Linux-based devices.

Boroughs also noted that the company has beefed up the endpoint interrogation capabilities of the software, allowing for more sophisticated examination of security software such as antivirus tools. He said that the software can ensure that the antivirus signature file present on a client attempting to connect is no more than a certain number of days old, and that searches for antivirus files now support wildcards.

The software is also able to determine whether a file appearing to belong to a given application is legitimate or potentially hostile code:

“We now can authenticate applications,” he said. “We can look at the files and validate MD5 checksums (define) to make sure it truly is the file it says it is,” allowing the gateway to ensure that a rootkit or some other trojan hasn’t been installed on a client attempting to connect to the corporate network.

Boroughs said the new software also allows users to change their passwords from the portal, reducing the need for remote workers to visit a central office to receive secure password updates.

Aventail ST will be available this month resellers and service providers., with pricing starting at $3,495.

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