Novell Rolls Out NMAS Security Solution

LAS VEGAS (05/10/2000) - Novell Inc. at the Networld+Interop show here yesterday, took the wraps off its NMAS (Novell Modular Authentication Service) Enterprise Edition 1.0 Net security software and Novell Backup Service for NetWare, which allows companies to back up data without bringing down servers.

NMAS Enterprise Edition is a more complete version of the NMAS Starter Pack released in January, which could support a single method of authentication.

Enterprise Edition, working in tandem with Novell's eDirectory, will take security to "biometrics and beyond," said Buck Gashler, product manager of Novell security services, because it allows multifactor authentication.

"Multifactor authentication creates a chain of authentication methods so you can use, for example, a fingerprint scan and a NDS password to authenticate a user," Gashler said. "You can also set network access based on types of authentication, which is graded authentication."

NMAS supports authentication methods such as tokens, biometric scans, digital certificates, and smart cards, and Novell currently has six partners shipping NMAS with their own authentication products, including Saflink, Identix, RSA Security, and Vasco Data Security.

"We cover the proverbial login with something you know, something you are, and something you have," Gashler said.

Novell is targeting NMAS toward industries that must keep secure information secure and prevent that information from being moved to an insecure space, such as health care, financial, government, and education markets. Gashler also believes the growing interest in biometrics and smart cards will create interest in NMAS-like solutions to manage authentication.

"The problem with adoption of biometrics was the cost prohibition," Gashler said, adding that he expects to the see the technology become more widespread "within two years, maybe one year," including devices such as keyboards that require fingerprint scans before turning on the computer. "As more people are requiring [different authentication solutions], the cost is going down."

NMAS Enterprise Edition is available now at a price of $49 per user; it currently runs on NetWare. A fall upgrade will add support for Windows NT, Windows 2000, Linux, and Solaris; a summer upgrade to the NMAS Starter Pack will add support for Windows 2000 and Windows NT.

In the future, NMAS will "certainly work with other Novell security products to enhance them," Gashler said, naming Single Sign On technology as an example.

"To sell a complete security story, we want to have, for example, streamlined authentication with NMAS and then access through Single Sign On."

Novell Backup Service for NetWare, also available Tuesday, addresses the problem of server uptime and data integrity by facilitating data backup. While the service does not replace existing backup technology (it does not actually move the data to tape or other hard-copy storage) Novell Backup Service lets companies back up their data without disrupting their networks.

"It enables a company to take data from their primary server and move it to the backup server, then back it up from there instead of from the primary server," said Michael Bryant, director of product management for storage services at Novell, adding that employees can go about their normal activity on the server because the backups are being made from a copy of that data and, because servers do not need to be brought down for data backup, companies can run the backups during the day instead of late at night or over weekends.

The backup service works with other data backup applications from companies such as Legato, Computer Associates, and Veritas, as well as any backup applications certified for NetWare. Administrators can set backup times as often as every 15 minutes to keep backups up-to-date; Novell Backup Service will only backup the changed data, reducing backup times on subsequent requests.

"With the Internet economy, data needs to be available 24 hours a day, so how can you take down a server to do backups, even though they're so important?" asked Bryant. "This eliminates the excuse of backups taking too long or being inconvenient."

Novell Backup Service for NetWare is available at a suggested price of $1,499 per backup server and runs on NetWare 4.x and 5.x. In the future, however, Bryant said the service can lend itself to becoming part of a packaged backup solution that could be offered as a hosted service for ISPs and ASPs (application service providers) as well as becoming a separate appliance.

Novell Inc., in Provo, Utah, is at www.novell.com.

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