Check Point Releases Mobile Security Software

Check Point announced Friday the availability of SecureClient Mobile, software that provides VPN (virtual private network) security for Windows-based handheld devices.

SecureClient Mobile offers uninterrupted connectivity and security between cellular and WiFi networks, even when the mobile link is temporarily lost by roaming between signal locations.

Malware Protection

The solution combines Check Point’s firewall with an SSL (secure sockets layer)-based VPN client, providing secure connectivity to firewalls and NAT (network address translation) devices across multiple networks and network types. It also protects mobile devices and data from hackers and malware.

Eliminating the need for users to reauthenticate when they reconnect after roaming, SecureClient Mobile also lets mobile devices easily traverse firewalls and NAT devices without posing security threats to the corporate LAN (local area network). When connected to a network, SecureClient Mobile can also allow or disallow encryption and traffic, force traffic through a gateway for inspection and security, and block synchronization with local PCs for granular security.

“The mobile market is getting larger, resulting in more workers having mobile devices that they want to connect to corporate services,” said David Walker, product marketing manager for endpoint security at Check Point.

SecureClient Mobile provides both a unified architecture and unified management approach to securing mobile devices running Windows Pocket PC 2003 Second Edition and Windows 5.0 operating systems, Walker told TechNewsWorld.

Microsoft Ties

SecureClient Mobile was developed as a partnership with Microsoft, according to Walker.

“Seamless VPN transition between cellular data networks and WiFi networks will be increasingly critical to user productivity and security, as access to more and more enterprise applications continues to be extended to mobile devices,” said Samir Kumar, Microsoft’s mobile devices product manager.

SecureClient Mobile supports Microsoft’s direct push technology, which provides mobile device users with a seamless experience when using Windows-based mobile devices, he noted.

What It Does

Check Point completely redesigned SecureClient Mobile in order to minimize RAM demands on mobile devices. The software client uses 722 KB or nearly three-quarters of a megabyte, noted Walker. Most mobile devices come with at least 128 MB of memory.

The user interface has two special features. Session Continuation gets the mobile device’s IP (Internet protocol) address when it first connects to the corporate VPN, which allows it to keep the same IP address if the connection is temporarily lost and reestablished through roaming.

Credential Caching can encrypt all data after the user logs into the VPN. If that connection is lost, the device can reconnect without forcing the user to log on again.

“A simple, built-in firewall encrypts the connection to the VPN and blocks access to corporate data,” said Walker. “Since most users are not technologically savvy, SecureClient Mobile requires no user input.” As a result, IT workers no longer have to worry about what is happening through a remote access point to the corporate network, he added.

Key Features

SecureClient Mobile meets regulatory requirements, confirmed Walker, and provides mobile devices with a sense of “network awareness.” IT managers can enforce security on a mobile device when it connects to an unsecured network and switch it to clear traffic when it connects to a secure internal network.

A SecureClient Mobile setting lets mobile devices automatically roll over to a dial-up connection if a high-speed connection is lost, he pointed out. Another setting automatically disconnect from sessions that remain idle for a long period of time.

The new security software also offers safeguards when a user connects to a secure corporate network but wants to check e-mail on a non-network source, said Walker. Additional security settings can allow or disallow mobile device synchronization to local PCs for more granular security enforcement. The system ships with built-in predefined security policies.

Pricing for SecureClient Mobile starts at US$2,300. It is supported as an add-on for Check Point’s VPN-1 firewall component and as a new feature for the company’s recently released Connectra NGX R62 Web security gateway.

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