In a play to combine the best features of VPN and extranet technology, startup Neoteris Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif. on Monday announced a set of devices aimed at providing secure remote access to corporate resources.
"We asked ourselves, Why can't it be just as simple to have access to your corporate network resources as Hotmail or Yahoo Mail?" said Kittu Kolluri, Neoteris' CEO.
Two product lines were launched on Monday. The Employee Access product enables remote access broadly to employees to specific LAN resources, such as e-mail and Web applications. Because the product obviates the need for extra hardware, it reduces capital expenses and support costs, according to Jason Matlof, Neoteris' director of marketing.
"Potentially, all you need is a PC and an AOL account," Matlof said.
The Partner Access product gives selected resource access to specific users, which eliminates the need for complex partner integration necessary with extranets, according to Matlof.
"Supplier 1 could access File Share A, and Supplier 2 could access File Share B and Web Application C," Matlof explained. "This could enable your typical rank-and-file corporation to do partner integration. Today, it's just for the big guns with millions of dollars to deploy this technology."
Both products are built on Neoteris' "instant virtual extranet" technology, which is designed to marry the client usability of an extranet with the deployment ease of VPNs. The devices promise client-free, Web-based access; quick deployment that does not use LAN resources; and a hardened interface that intermediates every communication flow over a single TCP (transmission control protocol) port, Matlof said.
The devices boast a hardened Web server application that secures communications over SSL (secure sockets layer) on the front end, protocol connectors that leverage existing LAN resources without customization on the back end, and technology that connects external public users on the Internet with privately-addressed LAN resources, such as e-mail or file servers.
"We do a dynamic transformation of content to transform communications between external and internal users," Matlof explained. "We carry on two conversations at once - one is with an external user over an encrypted interface on the public side, and for the other, we masquerade an external user by proxying for him internally, and making the request for him on the LAN." The content is then transformed in both directions: from public to private, and from private to public.
"We replicate typical extranet functionality into a single server appliance," Matlof added, adding that Neoteris' solution does not require the installation of a DMZ.
Future releases of Neoteris' products will support the Telnet access protocol for legacy applications. The products will be available in the US on November 19.