Secure access

Juniper has announced two infranet solutions for the enterprise market — the Infranet Controller and Infranet Agent — which are designed to bring endpoint intelligence into network traffic decisions.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  May 3, 2005

Juniper has announced two infranet solutions for the enterprise market — the Infranet Controller and Infranet Agent — which are designed to bring endpoint intelligence into network traffic decisions. An infranet is a private network that connects companies together in the wide area realm. It differs from the internet in that it uses security mechanisms to lock out unauthorised users and protects the data carried within. The two solutions are designed to address the challenges faced by enterprises today in providing ubiquitous network access. The tools combine components of SSL VPN technology, firewall and IPSec technology to provide comprehensive network protection. The Enterprise Infranet Controller enables conditional access to networks based upon user authentication and device security while the Enterprise Infranet Agent accepts user credentials, conducts host check and provides optional authenticated and encrypted transport. Juniper has taken this approach in response to the network and security challenges faced by enterprises today as they look to provision ubiquitous network access, while supporting an increasing number of users accessing the network via mobile laptops. The vendor says these challenges and the problem of malware are not addressed by traditional approaches, which focus on scan and block models that are incomplete, resulting in security gaps and high deployment and management costs. Juniper's approach supports heterogeneous solutions and uses components of SSL VPN technology, firewall and IPSec technology to provide comprehensive network protection. “Network security professionals are acutely aware that the current offerings do not address the growing volume of attacks or the requirements of evolving networks,” says Andrew Harding, director of product management at Juniper Networks. “Juniper has already solved this problem with its SSL VPN solution for the extended enterprise, providing secure access to a wide variety of users, connecting from diverse locations with managed and unmanaged devices. By combining the endpoint defense features of our SSL VPN platform with performance scalability of our firewall/VPN platforms, we can extend the usage model and security of SSL VPN from remote access and extranets to large scale enterprise networks,” he adds. The Enterprise Infranet Framework complements Juniper's work with Microsoft on Network Access Protection (NAP). The Enterprise Infranet Controller, Infranet Agent and ScreenOS upgrade required to enable Infranet Enforcer features are planned to be available in Q305. Juniper plans to use its recent acquisitions of Peribit Networks and Redline Networks, as well as its Netscreen acquisition to provide a secure wide area network infrastructure for enterprises that can also be used optimise traffic. Analysts have commended the moves by Juniper. “The acquisitions give Juniper a major position in this market. More importantly, they provide Juniper with all the ingredients for significant differentiation over Cisco in the enterprise market,” says Mark Fabbi, Gartner Research. “Juniper's virtual private network (VPN) technology and J, E and M series edge routers, combined with Peribit's WAN optimisation and Redline's application delivery components, will allow Juniper to deliver a robust WAN architecture that will improve end-user performance by two to 10 times when compared with Cisco infrastructure,” he explains.

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