A startup is attempting to cash in on the increasing demand for security by telecommuters by introducing low-cost virtual private network (VPN) systems based on its Cryptocore technology.
Redcreek, which was set up two years ago, sells authentication and encryption technology for private and public Ethernet networks.
Its flagship product, Ravlin, which is based on the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) standard, is a meld of authentication hardware and software for securing local and wide area networks and encrypts data at rates of up to 10Mbps.
The technology is also used in Cisco Systems' Pix Firewall line and by Secure Computing and Patriot Systems.
But Redcreek has just introduced Personal Ravlin, a single, small external device that attaches to users' PCs or notebooks via an Ethernet port and secures Internet transmissions between a remote or home office and corporate sites by encrypting data as it is transmitted.
The technology establishes an encrypted IP Security session with other Ravlin devices connected to the company network, and although IS technicians need to configure Personal Ravlin at headquarters, it is simple enough for users to install at home.
Tom Steding, Redcreek's CEO, claimed, however, that the offering provided companies with more options when setting up VPNs to secure communications over public and private networks and hoped that Personal Ravlin would make the VPN concept easier to understand.
"Customers have awakened to the need for VPNs for economic reasons or security reasons or both, but it's a hard concept for them to understand," he said.
In the first quarter, it intends to introduce Ravlin 100, a new version of the company's Ethernet-based encryption device that provides T-3 throughput speeds, followed by a PCI adaptor-based version for network servers.
Michael Howard, analyst and founder of Infonetics Research, said that vendors such as Redcreek are in a good position to take advantage of the anticipated boom in the VPN market.
"1999 will be the year of the VPN. Multiple function VPN products will contain many of the functions required to process in and outgoing IP packets, in addition to strict VPN features, including firewall, traffic shaping and eventually voice over IP," he explained.
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