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Blue Coat claims super-secure remote access

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Blue Coat reckons its new SSL VPN appliance could be the most secure remote access device yet. Not only does Blue Coat RA encrypt the traffic between the client and the host, it also blocks keyloggers and framegrabbers, and encrypts the files it caches onto the client's hard disk.

The device derives from Blue Coat's takeover of Permeo back in January, Blue Coat international veep Nigel Hawthorn said. "We have strengthened it and repackaged it on the security side."

"What's most interesting about it is that it integrates remote access with endpoint security, and it does it transparently," he added.

The SSL VPN gateway downloads software called Blue Coat Connector to the client. This then scans it for dodgy processes and suppresses them - the company claims this means it can run securely even on clients that it doesn't manage, such as cybercafe PCs, and doesn't require the user to have admin rights to install it.

Where a file is downloaded to the client's hard disk, such as an email attachment, it is stored in encrypted form and only decrypted to the screen. It is then deleted once the session is over.

"We have done a lot of work to scan for and suppress keyloggers and framegrabbers," Hawthorn said. "Plus, the software is completely transient and completely cleans up after itself."

This level of security looks to be a first, although other VPN developers such as F5 and Whale (now owned by Microsoft) have the technology to follow suit.

Hawthorn said there will be three Blue Coat RA models, the difference being the number of remote users they can support simultaneously. They range from the 100-user 510A to the 500-user 810A and 1000-user 810B. Prices start at around £3,750 and go to almost £30,000. ®

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