Opengear Challenges SSL VPNs With Secure Remote Access and Management Solutions

Opengear Inc, a leading supplier of IT infrastructure management solutions, has today released its open source tool SDTConnector and its CM4001 console server at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in Boston, MA. Opengear will have both new products on display in their booth 1139 throughout the April 3-6 Boston Convention & Exhibition Centre event. 

With the introduction of the SDTConnector, Opengear brings a unique Windows and Java wizard that eliminates the complexities of configuring Secure Shell (SSH) connections to tunnel other services securely across the Internet. These services include Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol, open source VNC (UltraVNC, TightVNC, RealVNC), HTTP (Internet Explorer, Firefox) and Telnet for text terminal access. 

Today, SSH is the de-facto secure remote-access standard which has been used worldwide for more than a decade. SSH provides secure server administration, secure file transfer and secure application connectivity. The fact that SSH protocols are now IETF standards removes barriers that restricted commercial and government adoption as previously SSH had no published standard of conformance. SSH provides strong authentication and encryption (AES, 3DES) with protection against man-in-the-middle attacks. 

In addition, with the increased regulatory burdens (SOX, HIPAA) that enterprises small to large are now encountering, the SDTConnector provides these organizations with a solution that secures and simplifies remote access and data exchange across multi-platform networks with built-in privacy protection. 

The SDTConnector can be used in tandem with Opengear’s CM4000 family of secure console servers. CM4000 appliances incorporate an SSH server with tunneling, allowing administrators to remotely and securely manage desktops, servers, firewalls, routers, switches and even legacy serial devices that are not IP accessible. In fact, the SDTConnector works flawlessly with a range of SSH gateways including many third-party ‘OpenSSH-based’ servers. 

Network managers will also find the SDTConnector is easy to configure. Each SSH gateway can be configured to port forward (or tunnel) to an unlimited number of hosts (PCs, firewalls, switches, power switches) on a local network, permitting users to remotely and securely connect to several internal hosts while limiting the number of public Internet IP addresses. For each host the administrator selects the particular protocols they require to have port forwarded by the gateway. If the administrator was managing a Cisco firewall at the remote site, they may have HTTP (Web) and Telnet access forwarded to the firewall. To access a Windows XP desktop at that site, then RDP would be selected (or VNC for earlier Windows versions). To remotely administer a Linux or UNIX server at the site, Telnet and VNC would be forwarded to those hosts. 

The SDTConnector is also easy to install and operate. With the simple click of a button a secure Remote Desktop connection is set up with the selected remote host PC. With a real-time view of the desktop from the remote PC, users have the exact same privileges and access rights as if seated in front of the PC itself. 

With another click of a button and using a new screen, the users default browser will access information from the Web server on the office intranet. Opengear’s SDTConnector user-friendly program wizard arms administrators with secure access to their remote desktop PCs, enterprise data centres, distributed branch office network gateways, remote metering equipment and industrial control sites. 

The Opengear SDTConnector is taking already popular system administration tools and expanding them for much wider use, said Bob Waldie, Chairman and CEO of Opengear. Non-expert users can now initiate secure remote connections without needing to generate multiple downloads and contend with complex configurations. 

SDTConnector coupled with Opengear’s CM4001 entry-level appliances equips solution providers with a highly secure and affordable means to support their smaller clients’ applications, desktops, servers and networks. It also allows them to set simple access policies which grant granular access to certain hosts supplying a useful level of privacy compared to network-based VPNs. In addition, the SDTConnector and SSH gateways are simpler to configure, deploy and use when compared with SSL VPNs. Since the SDTConnector client software is open source, there are no capital costs and OpenSSH server is available for Windows, Linux and UNIX platforms. 

The Opengear SDTConnector is provided at no cost to users of Opengear CM4000 console servers and SD4000 device server solutions. 

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About Opengear

Founded in 2004, Opengear delivers next generation intelligent solutions for managing critical IT and communications infrastructure. Opengear’s solutions, featuring embedded Smart OOB™ technology, equip our customers’ networks with intelligent automation and bulletproof resilience, enabling them to optimize technical operations and secure business continuity. The company is headquartered in New Jersey, with a manufacturing facility in Utah, R&D operations in Australia and Silicon Valley, and sales offices in Europe, Asia and the USA. For more information, please visit www.opengear.com.

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