INTERNET BUSINESS UNIT
SERVER SHIPS TO RESELLERS
BOSTON, Mass, February 12, 1996 -- NEC Technologies' newly formed Internet Business Unit (IBU) announced here today that it has begun shipping an aggressively-priced, reseller-installed and supported, user-transparent, firewall appliance called PrivateNet.
PrivateNet is a turnkey firewall based on a platform that combines
a security-hardened UNIX operating system, Pentium-driven hardware,
and proxy-server firewall software that is supplied on CD-ROM
for added security and easy upgrades.
Based on a hybrid architecture comprised of generalized and application-specific
proxy servers, PrivateNet allows no direct connection between
the Internet and a LAN, or between secure subnets on a LAN. Incoming
connections are handled by application-specific proxy servers,
and generalized proxy services for all outgoing connections are
handled by NEC's commercial-grade implementation of SOCKS , called
SOCKS is a client/server firewall protocol that gained popularity
among early Internet users. Its use has been limited until now
because it is not a commercial-grade product and is not universally
supported by client applications and TCP/IP stack vendors. In
addition, it lacks support for UDP,
server-to-server encrypted communications and other services.
NEC has solved these problems with SocksPlus and its Client Application
Partners (CAP) program. (NEC's SocksPlus press release provides
While PrivateNet is an excellent choice for sophisticated network
and system administrators who have implemented "roll-your-own"
firewalls using SOCKS or other free software, but would prefer
a lower-maintenance commercial solution, it has considerably more
benefit for a different class of users.
The rapidly growing ranks of network administrators with little
or no security expertise and specific responsibilities for optimizing
network user productivity need a firewall solution that is inexpensive,
easy to manage, broadly available and can be installed and maintained
by a reseller.
PrivateNet has been designed and priced to meet this demand.
Available now to qualified VARs in the United States from national
distributor Ingram Micro, Inc., PrivateNet can be
installed, configured and operational in less than a day on most
networks that support TCP/IP.
NEC's IBU is working closely with its distribution partners to
qualify, train and support highly skilled TCP/IP networking resellers
across the nation to provide installation, security consulting
and continuing firewall maintenance and support. Additional network
security consulting services will also be available through resellers
participating in NEC's Security Expert Referral Program.
According to IBU vice president Sam Shigo, "What is missing
from the firewall scene today is a whole product. There is no
such thing as a good firewall by itself. It takes the core product
plus solid network security advice and a good installation, service
and support program to relieve network administrators of a task
they are generally ill-equipped to perform. Coupled with its
hybrid security architecture, that is a key difference the PrivateNet
solution brings to the market."
Proxy Server Focus
Proxy-server-based firewalls such as PrivateNet are widely regarded
to be more secure than packet-filtering approaches because they
eliminate direct connection to the public Internet and between
secure subnets on a LAN. This increased security is achieved
by filtering connections rather than packets.
"Looking at corporate security policies on a scale of one
to ten, with ten being the most secure, PrivateNet is roughly
appropriate for levels four through eight," said Bjorn Satdeva,
a security expert and primary architect of PrivateNet. "Levels
nine and ten define policies for organizations with such a high
need for security that they should not be connected to the Net;
levels one through three fit organizations with minimal valuable
information assets at risk where packet-filtering solutions are
more than adequate. PrivateNet is for corporations with something
to lose. It is the 'due diligence' firewall solution," he
PrivateNet Release 1.0 Features
The entire PrivateNet software system runs directly off a CD-ROM
disk rather than being loaded from CD-ROM to a hard disk. This
makes it tamper-proof and allows easy system upgrades. Customers
or their resellers need only replace the PrivateNet CD-ROM with
the latest release and reboot.
Authorized NEC resellers can configure the system through a command-line
interface in Release 1.0, and will have the option of a graphical
user interface in Release 1.1, due in April 1996. Release 1.1
will be shipped to all customers free of charge. Release 1.0
includes the following features:
Complete details on these features are included in NEC's PrivateNet
system white paper.
Supported Applications and Platforms
The PrivateNet CD-ROM contains SocksPlus versions of popular UNIX-based client applications, including ftp, telnet and Netscape Navigator for the World Wide Web (Netscape Navigator is currently using SOCKS Version 4.2). The CD-ROM also contains NEC's Windows 3.1.1 Winsock, allowing any 3.1.1 PC client application to work through the SocksPlus server.
Cross-platform and PC applications are supported and made available
through the CAP program. Client products from Netscape Communications,
NetManage Inc., FTP Software, and any other SOCKS 4.2 client application
will work through the PrivateNet server.
PrivateNet Release 1.1 and Beyond
Release 1.1 of PrivateNet, due in Q2 1996, will include the graphical
user interface, a net license management facility allowing node-based
subnet pricing, and other minor product refinements.
Other PrivateNet system releases planned for calendar 1996 include
an expanded list of inbound-application proxy servers, telecommuting
firewall support, SNMP monitoring facilities, an expanded list
of authentication options and expanded client platform and application
Options and Pricing
The suggested list price for PrivateNet Release 1.0 is $14,950.
System hardware upgrades including memory expansion, parallel
configurations, etc. are handled through authorized PrivateNet
Site evaluations, security audits, and related consulting services
are available through authorized PrivateNet resellers or through
NEC's network of regional security consultants.
About NEC's Internet Business Unit
NEC Technologies' Internet Business Unit was formed in July 1995 to address the needs of organizations that require secure and productive Internet connection and use. The unit's first technologies, products and services are security-related. Further information can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.privatenet.nec.com. The Internet Business Unit is located in San Jose, California.
About NEC Technologies
Headquartered in Boxborough, Mass., NEC Technologies Inc. is
a leading manufacturer of computers and peripherals for the North
American market. Award-winning product lines include the PowerMate®
and Ready System products, RISC-based workstations and servers,
Versa® notebook computers, the MultiSync® X-Series of
monitors and presentation products, Silentwriter® and SuperScript
printers and MultiSpin® CD-ROM readers. NEC Technologies
is a subsidiary of NEC Corporation.
SocksPlus, PrivateNet, and SuperScript are trademarks and PowerMate, Versa, MultiSync, Silentwriter and MultiSpin are registered trademarks of NEC Technologies.
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