SOURCE: Aventail

June 26, 2006 06:00 ET

Aventail's Smart SSL VPN a Good First Step for Network Access Control

Leading Analyst Outlines How SSL VPNs Deliver a Crucial Dose of Network Access Control (NAC) Today and Will Be Instrumental in the Future

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 26, 2006 -- For organizations planning to "NAC-ify" their networks, SSL VPNs are a great way to get started today and they could play an even stronger role in the future, according to leading industry analyst Mark Bouchard. Network Access Control (NAC) is one of the hottest topics for network and security experts, but most of the related solutions are still immature. SSL VPNs, however, offer organizations a way to ease into broader, enterprise-wide NAC initiatives by providing mature access control and endpoint integrity capabilities where they are needed most: at the gateway, where an ever-growing population of remote users and unmanaged devices are gaining entry into their networks. Bouchard's newly published white paper, "Achieving NAC Now and in the Future: The Role of SSL VPNs," is available at

"SSL VPNs -- the actual progenitors of the NAC concept and technology -- have mature and efficient NAC capabilities for remote users, and are a logical solution for most organizations to implement today," said Mark Bouchard, founder of Missing Link Security Services. "Aventail's Smart SSL VPN is a great example, combining endpoint integrity checks with granular policy-based access controls, and robust yet straight-forward policy and configuration management capabilities."

Understanding Today's NAC Challenges

Network Access Control is a security mechanism that thoroughly controls who and what gets access to networked resources. NAC also assists in keeping malicious threats from entering the enterprise, not just at the Internet and WAN boundaries, but also at local points of connection.

Still, significant challenges are likely to confront organizations seeking to implement large-scale NAC initiatives. They include incomplete network coverage, inadequate client inspection, and weak policy and configuration management capabilities. In addition, these NAC initiatives can be time-consuming and expensive to roll out.

Today's Answer: SSL VPNs

In contrast, SSL VPNs provide organizations with mature and proven NAC functionality today and in the very location where it is needed most: with remote users and unmanaged devices. SSL VPNs provide IT with a network solution that helps keep the network secure and free of malicious threats while at the same time providing effective access for mobile workers, whether they are traveling, at home, or in the office.

According to Bouchard, SSL VPNs address NAC challenges with their full-featured policy and configuration management capabilities, ease of use, ease of deployment, flexibility and wide scope of coverage, and focus on the critical locations in the network. Thousands of organizations all over the world are already successfully using SSL VPNs to provide effective and secure access control for their remote users.

The Future: The Promise of SSL VPNs

Three trends indicate that SSL VPNs will likely be an even more critical part of NAC in the future. First, the growing prevalence of broadband and mobile devices and the increasingly distributed nature of today's workforce almost ensure that remote users will one day represent the majority of connections to an enterprise's computing environment. Second, many organizations, for security reasons, will begin to treat all users as if they were remote -- even those connecting directly to the LAN. Third, SSL VPNs are likely to integrate with LAN-focused NAC offerings to make a comprehensive enterprise solution, or might even leverage their policy management expertise to expand further into that use case.

About Aventail's Smart SSL VPNs

Aventail's Smart SSL VPNs provide easy-to-use, secure access control to applications and resources from managed and unmanaged devices, and remote and local employees. With Aventail's market-leading policy control, end point security and application reach, organizations planning for complex NAC initiatives will have the NAC foundation they need to build upon.

About Aventail

Aventail is the best-of-breed remote-access company. Aventail delivered the first SSL VPN solution in 1997 and today is a market leader, delivering the easiest to use and control remote access solution. With more than two million end users around the globe, Aventail is the SSL VPN of choice among mid to large-sized organizations worldwide, including AT&T, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chicago Housing Authority, DuPont, Radiology Ltd, James Richardson International, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Overlake Hospital, IBM Global Services, and hundreds more. For more information, go to

Aventail, Aventail ST, Aventail Smart Access, Aventail Smart Tunneling, Aventail EPC, Aventail OnDemand, Aventail Connect, Aventail EX-2500, EX-1600, EX-1500, Aventail EX-750, and their respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Aventail Corporation. Other product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    Sarah Daniels
    (206) 579-0955

    Stephany Rochon
    (206) 438-7782
    Aventail Corporation
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