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August 2003

History of IPSec, SSL VPN products: How will the market change?

Today's SSL VPN products address a single problem: secure remote access. Is that going to be enough to sustain the vendors in this market? Also see Read Lisa Phifer's cover story: Tunnel vision: Choosing a VPN -- SSL VPN vs. IPSec VPN History suggests that IT departments have love-hate relationships with "point" products. They love the convenience of self-contained operating systems and applications. Moreover, they don't have to be bothered hardening appliances. However, a complex layered security architecture that incorporates many point products is difficult to administer. Each product has its own policy model, user interface, log records and audit data. So, IT staffs want to consolidate functions into fewer devices that can be supervised from (ideally) one global management system. The marriage of IPSec VPNs and firewalls is an example of such consolidation. Will SSL VPNs follow suit? The history of IPSec VPN gateways illustrates how functional consolidation can take many forms. Joel Snyder of Opus One, an IT consulting and ...

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