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NCP targets barriers to enterprise mobility

Warwick Ashford

Concern about the security of public internet access is still preventing many businesses giving mobile access to company data, says secure connection software supplier NCP.

The complexity of deploying, administering and using security applications is also an important inhibiting factor, said Simon Ford, international director at NCP engineering.

Applications developed by IT suppliers who do not have secure connectivity as their core business have typically resulted in complex, multi-step procedures, he said.

The inability to use secure data connections at many public internet access suppliers such as hotels, is another big obstacle, he said.

NCP has targeted these obstacles in developing secure connection and management software to tackle the increasing security threats to enterprise data, said Ford.

The NCP Secure Enterprise Client is designed to hide all the complexity for users, who can connect to company servers with a single click, he said.

The software enables a secure connection in the background according to company policy and includes a range of functions, including a VPN tunnel and firewall.

"Firewalls are essential to enabling secure remote connections, but are often overlooked, especially for mobile phones," said Ford.

Most hotels do not allow guests to connect using port 500, which is used for secure internet connections (IPsec).

NCP's client software enables users to make IPsec connections even if port 500 is blocked by disguising it to use commonly available ports, said Ford.

Administration is also kept to a bare minimum after the policies have been set in the management software with a consultant on site at implementation, he said.

By linking to the company's main directory server, the software automatically enables and disables clients as employees join or leave the company.

Many organisations will have to rethink their remote access to meet the demand for greater mobility in the enterprise, with Gartner predicting that almost every enterprise employee will have a smartphone by 2014, said Ford.

But secure connections are more important than ever, he said, with attacks on the enterprise becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted.


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