YES to VPN

NCP has recently been selected to provide end-point security solutions for Texas-based YES Prep Public Schools.  The school’s IT manager needed a secure VPN solution that would not only allow staff access to the Intranet, but also flexibility to integrate the solution to existing and future devices and operating systems.  NCP Secure Entry Client provided 64-bit support to gain access to the network and prepared the school’s migration to Windows 7. As we’ve blogged in the past, the need for end-point security is critical for school systems.  Security breaches do affect this market, and hackers gain access to student’s personal records, school internal documents and other confidential data.   Education institutions need to be ware and take action to protect their network, and the most effective way to this is with a VPN. NCPs universal client provides YES’ teachers with secure and constant communications to the Intranet, where they can access lesson plans and student files immediately.  It also enables YES staff to be in contact with each other in the seven different locations.  This access is important to YES because it grants students with the quality education they deserve.  The entry client saved YES from downgrading their 64-bit machines to 32-bit; and the client will work on new operating system, Windows 7. For more information on this issue, check out a recent article published in...

Do you have a King Kong VPN client?

Can your 64-bit VPN client meet the enterprise challenge? Take King Kong – a single person brought him to the base of the Enterprise State Building but it was his inherent strength and stability that allowed him to conquer. Apes are not our passion; scalable VPN clients drive us. We know about Cisco moving to SSL and Microsoft pushing IPSec through Windows 7 and their server. 64-bit VPN users were being left out in the cold until NCP and a few freeware alternatives came along. The connection to the King of Apes? Ability to take on tough challenges (read: scale the enterprise). Central policy control, NAC enforcement, change management and technical support are what drive an enterprise VPN client choice. 64-bit systems are here to stay and companies need VPN (and vendor) support that can conquer the tough enterprise...

Windows 7 ready yet for enterprise primetime?

Recently on ZDnet, Mary Jo Foley asked: Will business users bite on Windows 7? There’s some interesting discussion taking place in the comments on this post. From a  security perspective, LiquidLearner writes: When comparing 7 to XP you get Security, UAC, Federated Search. When you combine it with 2008 R2 you get VPN access without any hassle. Combine this with more robust policy support and software able to run without local admin privileges and it will be a big improvement. Also the malware headache is greatly reduced. VHD boot support will allow you to push images to workstations as well. Overall Vista had a lot of what 7 did, but 7 is fast with more usability improvements. To me that makes it extremely worthwhile for business. The one holdup we can see is with DirectAccess – users who want to take advantage of this functionality will need to upgrade to the 2008 R2 server, which is not a cheap proposition by any measure! NCP, of course, encourages companies looking to deploy Win7 in the enterprise to have a look at our Secure Enterprise...

VPN vendor-lock in Windows 7

For all of the good news about Windows 7, one issue has come to light as a major stumbling block for enterprises – especially from a security standpoint. Though Microsoft doesn’t tout DirectAccess as a VPN (presumably to avoid the stigma of complexity associated with VPNs), their server setup guide calls it exactly that. What’s more, the DirectAccess IPsec connection requires enterprises to deploy Microsoft’s server… a large investment of resources and a warning sign for future vendor lock-in. Meanwhile, Cisco has discontinued support for IPsec clients in order to promote their AnyConnect solutions. What this creates is a large divergence of product options for customers. SSL is not ideal for all VPN needs, however Cisco is aggressively pushing this on their customers. At the same time, we predict that companies are going to resist the investment to upgrade to a new server, which will hinder adoption of DirectAccess for Windows 7.  Rather than the major industry players working toward a standard, they are trying to force the market to choose one over the other. Unfortunately, security doesn’t work that way… NCP customers we’ve spoken to are angry with the situation, and many bloggers and forum posters agree that the conflicting strategies are counterproductive to the real aims of network...

Secure Entry Client Version 9.1

This week, NCP announces the North American availability of the latest version of our IPsec VPN Secure Entry Client for Windows (XP and Vista/32/64-bit, Windows 2000). Version 9.1 includes several new ease-of-use features, including improved IPsec gateway compatibility, WISPr and support, and a smart interface for budgeting wireless minutes. You can download Secure Entry Client Version 9.1 here. As we prepare for beta testing of the next Secure Entry Client version – which will be Windows 7 compatible – we welcome any and all user feedback on the newest...