DSL Suppliers Boost Security Features



In a bid to assuage IT managers' concerns about remote PCsecurity related to the deployment of digital subscriber line and cable-modem services, vendors are prepping a series of new products that offer better security features.

This week, 3Com Corp. will ship its PathBuilder S500 switches with support for virtual private network connections over DSL links; prices start at $17,995. VPNs use encryption to carve out secure tunnels to carry traffic between a remote client and a server.

InfoExpress Inc. this week will unveil the Firewalker VPN suite with a firewall to protect PCs or branch-office networks using DSL or cable services. With these services, IP addresses generally don't change unless users disconnect, making PCs more vulnerable to intruders. Due next month, Firewalker starts at $129 per seat.

Also, Cisco Systems last week shipped its 1400 DSL and uBR924 cable-access routers with firewall and tunneling support.

"Firewalls are going to become more necessary to secure telecommuters' PCs," Dataquest analyst John Coons says. But for now, some companies just turn off continuous connections. Says Dale Kendrick, network manager at Workers' Compensation Fund in Salt Lake City, "We advise telecommuters to disconnect their DSL lines when they're not using the network."

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