Check Point enables SSL VPN access to non-Web apps via handheld devices

SecureClient Mobile works only with devices based on Windows Mobile software platform

Check Point is introducing a software client that makes it possible to access non-Web applications via handheld devices over Internet-based SSL VPNs.

The SecureClient Mobile software on the handhelds links up with Check Point's VPN-1 and Connectra SSL VPN gateways and enables end users to access more than just Web-based applications via browsers on their handhelds.

The client works only with devices based on Windows Mobile software platform.

The client enables pushing e-mails to remote devices so users are notified if they receive an e-mail rather than waiting until they log in to check for it. Sessions between the remote devices and gateways are kept alive by the gateway for a period set by the customer even after the remote device has fallen out of range of a wireless access point.

If the end user re-establishes connections with a different access point on the same Wi-Fi network, the gateway will resume the same session without the user having to log in again.

This session persistence can also be used to shift sessions from Wi-Fi to cellular links on the fly. So when a device falls out of range of a Wi-Fi network as the user leaves the building, for example, a cellular connection can replace the Wi-Fi link. This requires a service provider or the corporate infrastructure to set up and bridge the cellular call between the handheld and the gateway.

Other SSL VPN vendors, Aventail for instance, have some or all of these features in handheld clients. So while it is playing a little bit of catch up here, the new client is still a good addition to Check Point's product line.

Check Point SecureClient Mobile is sold in a range of packages with the price per seat dropping with larger bundles. So for instance a 25-user license costs US$2,300 and a 1,000-user license costs US$40,000.

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