Courion, Novell roll out network protection products

Novell and Courion introduced separate security products on Monday that take aim at filling basic security lapses, ranging from self-service password authentication to Web-based application and network access.

Courion announced the release of its new identity management suite on Monday featuring two new products -- AccountCourier and CertificateCourier, a product name change, and an upgradeto the company's flagship product, now called PasswordCourier.

Meanwhile, systems network vendor Novell revealed the immediate availability of Novell iChain 2.0. The Provo, Utah-based company's Web security software has been beefed up to control and manage user access to online environments and offers single-sign on capability to all Web-based content and applications, said iChain product manager Lee Howarth.

Tom Rose, vice president of marketing at Framingham, Mass.-based Courion, said his company's new product suite manages four basic areas of employee security strife -- profile building, password or authentication, account provisioning granting application or network access, and digital certificates enabling the use of PKI (public key infrastructure).

"That's part of the struggle we've been seeing with a lot of our customers. These large enterprises do not want to compromise security or tradeoffs to improve service, they want to have both," Rose said. "A big problem going on with companies is people have to share a lot of personal information with someone they don't know [at help desks]. With a self-service approach, we're limiting the number of people that have access to critical data."

According to Rose, Courion's AccountCourier provides security managers with the ability to create policies that allow business managers to provision accounts for their employees that can be managed, created, or disabled with none of the administrative burden on the part of security personnel.

The product can connect to multiple sources of data, including LDAP directories, and eliminates the need to create a new repository field. Certificate Courier interacts with a company's existing PKI infrastructure and certificate authority to give employees the power to register to use a digital certificate from a desktop and enable their own authentication.

PasswordCourier improvements include support for; the ability to reset or synchronize passwords on Lotus Notes 5.0, other applications, and Web sites; and a telephone access option to activate the software using a IVR (interactive voice response) system, Rose added.

Formerly called ProfileBuilder, the renamed ProfileCourier new features are integration with Clarify Clear Help Desk and PeopleSoft Vantive Help Desk for automated ticketing and audit trail capabilities.

Ken Baker, regional user support manager, for Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Hewitt Associates, a global management and consulting firm, is a customer of PasswordCourier and ProfileCourier in its previous incarnation. He said the company turned to Courion to reduce the call volume to the help desk and divert administrative intensive calls and costs to support its 13,000 associates.

"We are already seeing the call volume driver to the IVR and our Web-based solution. This has allowed the help desk to be focused on research-intensive technical issues. We have already seen an impact," Baker said. "The value of self-service is taking resource intensive administration tasks and allowing them to be automated."

Novell iChain 2.0

Serving as the gatekeeper to networking application resources within a Novell environment, Novell's Howarth says iChain 2.0 safeguards the central point of access management for Web-based and internal applications.

He said key features of the latest product version include increased authentication methods using tokens, manageability performance improvements, and a greater application-reaching breadth of single sign-on. Also, Novell has created a wizard for the product to walk users through the process of configuring and tying together iChain proxy servers for non-repeated authentication.

"(Customers) want very high levels of security, they need authorization and authentication pieces, but they don't want complexity of installing these agents on Web servers or installing other kinds of method of single sign-on. Because we have this gatekeeper architecture, we can provide this all very easily," Howarth remarked.

Howarth said iChain 2.0 license fee is $10 per user.

Courion's identity management suite costs $50 per user for the entire suite and will be available in November. Individual application starting prices are as follows: PasswordCourier at $14 per user; AccountCourier is $20 per user; ProfileCourier is $6 per user; and CertificateCourier is $10 per user.

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