IPass rolls out new security features

IPass's Virtual Office service lets customers use a single client to access their corporate network regardless of how they connect

IPass is rolling out a unified remote-access offering that integrates its recent acquisition of GoRemote and a new service that offers customers strong security policy management for mobile devices.

The US$76.5 million acquisition of GoRemote closed in February.

IPass's Virtual Office service lets customers use a single client to access their corporate network, whether they're using cable or DSL from home, a campus Wi-Fi connection, evolution data optimized (EV-DO) wireless data in New York or a public hot spot in Tokyo, says Joan Fazio, director of product marketing at iPass.

Previously, customers had to use multiple clients, depending on their access technology, Fazio says. With Virtual Office customers use a single, secure client. Also for the first time, iPass is provisioning customers' broadband connections. Before, customers would acquire a broadband connection on their own. Now, iPass provisions DSL and cable Internet access services and deploys secure routers from ZyXel.

Before it was acquired by iPass, GoRemote worked with ZyXel. That relationship has been transferred to iPass.

Virtual Office is available as a mobile-only service or mobile plus home-office broadband. The mobile-only offering is US$30 per month, per user. Mobile plus a home broadband connection is US$105 per month, per user.

IPass also announced last Monday its Device Lockdown service. The offering lets network administrators better enforce their security policies on wireless devices and laptops before they gain access to the corporate network.

Device Lockdown lets network managers establish a set of policies, for example, that users cannot access the corporate network until they have the latest virus-scanning software installed on their laptop or before a scan is completed, to be sure their machine is not infected.

The Device Lockdown service will be available before year-end, iPass says, for an additional, nominal fee.

The service provider also announced it has expanded its wireless 2.5G and 3G data coverage in China, Japan and Hong Kong. IPass has struck agreements with Beijing Unicom, KDDI and 3 Hong Kong.

Although some of the services in Hong Kong are 3G services, iPass customers that use Verizon Wireless's 3G EV-DO network in the United States will require an additional access card because the services operate in different wireless spectrum bands.

In addition to the Asia expansion, the service provider's aggregate network includes 62,000 Wi-Fi hot spots, EV-DO 3G service from Verizon Wireless in the United States and dial-up service in 160 countries.

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