For enhanced network security, Network Utilities launches Steel-Belted Radius v5.0 in the UK

Network Utilities (Systems) Ltd, a leading provider of network access security solutions, today announced UK availability of version 5.0 of the market-leading RADIUS/AAA server, Steel-Belted Radius.

With a completely revamped administration program and powerful new reporting capabilities, Steel-Belted Radius v5.0 makes it simple for enterprises to enforce a uniform, network-access security policy across a variety of access methods. It, thus, provides enhanced security, easier, more streamlined management, and granular control over who can access the network and how.

Steel-Belted Radius runs on Windows and Solaris, and is fully compliant with the RADIUS specification, the IEEE security standard 802.1X, and all popular WLAN protocols, including EAP-TTLS, EAP-PEAP, and EAP-TLS. It can authenticate users accessing the network against a wide variety of authentication databases, including Windows Active Directory, SQL databases, LDAP directories such as Novell's eDirectory, and token systems such as the RSA Authentication Manager.

New features
New features in Steel Belted Radius v5.0 - available in the Enterprise and Global Enterprise Editions of the product - include: 
- New Administration Program - The new administration program in Steel-Belted Radius v5.0 adds extensive functional enhancements as well as a new graphical user interface enabling easy management of hundreds or thousands of RADIUS clients including access points, switches, NAS devices, and VPN servers. The new XML-based Steel-Belted Radius Administrator can be run from any machine, not just the machine on which Steel-Belted Radius is installed, and offers the convenience of an HTML-based administration program without its attendant navigation problems. This capability vastly facilitates remote administration of any Steel-Belted Radius server. And, the new Steel-Belted Radius Administrator can manage Steel-Belted Radius running on either XP/2000/NT or Solaris; separate programs are no longer required for each platform. 
- Comprehensive Reporting - Steel-Belted Radius v5.0 offers several new reports, available directly from the Steel-Belted Radius Administrator, that detail statistics on user authentications, failed authentications, unknown client devices, faulty shared secrets, and temporarily disabled accounts. These new reports eliminate tedious digging through text-based log files, and display all information spreadsheet-style and fully sortable by user name, NAS device, date, or any other variable for fast information retrieval. Report summaries, scrolling lists, and other conveniences speed access to needed information.
- Fast Configuration and Management - User and device profiles can be quickly implemented with copy-and-paste, sorting, and point-and-click drilldown capabilities, eliminating the need to build new profiles from scratch and greatly facilitating the management of large numbers of RADIUS clients or users. 
- Java Scripting in the LDAP Authentication Plug-in - Users can now call a Java script from within Steel-Belted Radius's LDAP authentication method, providing greater control over the authentication process. 
-  Other Features, including support for Oracle 9i, experimental support for IP v6, and support for machine authentication and password change via MS-CHAP v2 within EAP-PEAP, provided added conveniences for users.

Developed by Funk Software of Cambridge, Massachusetts - for whom Network Utilities is the Master Partner in the UK - Steel-Belted Radius v5.0 is available in separate versions for Windows XP/2000/NT and Solaris.

For enterprises, Steel-Belted Radius plays a critical role in managing and securing wireless LAN (WLAN), remote/VPN, and/or identity-based (wired 802.1X) networking access, and integrates easily into their network infrastructure, regardless of equipment vendor or authentication scheme.

"RADIUS is becoming more and more pivotal in enterprise networks," said Michele Lewington, managing director of Network Utilities. "With the powerful new features in Steel-Belted Radius v5.0, we are able to deliver to enterprise customers a product they can totally rely on to manage and enforce their increasingly complex network access security policies - and significantly enhance the security of their networks."

Enterprise networks are growing increasingly complex as organizations expand globally and workers make greater use of mobile communications. Employees need to access corporate networks 24x7 from a wide variety of devices (such as PCs, wireless laptops, or PDAs) and locations (such as their cubicles, hotspots, virtual offices, warehouses, shipping facilities or home offices). The result is a web of access technologies within the corporate network that can make secure network access a challenge for administrators. Along with complex access requirements, organizations have increased security concerns driven both by internal policies as well as compliance rules and regulations that touch nearly every industry.

Steel-Belted Radius solves these problems by allowing an administrator to centralize the authentication of all users and to centrally set up and enforce corporate security policies - across all access methods and equipment. User authentication is based on the authentication scheme that's already in place on the enterprise network; security policy enforcement allows the administrator to block unauthorized access, establish secure wireless connections, only permit access during certain times of the day or from a certain location, permit access only to certain areas of the network, and the like.

"There is a upsurge in strong authentication occurring in the market today across all industries. RADIUS servers continue to be a critical component of any 802.1X-based infrastructure," said Earl Perkins, a vice president of Security & Risk Strategies at META Group. "To take full advantage of 802.1X access technologies, in wireless or wired environments, enterprises will have to choose a RADIUS server that meets some fairly robust performance and security requirements, yet is still relatively easy to deploy and maintain."

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