CEBIT: Check Point extends PDA security

Check Point Software Technologies is extending its VPN (virtual private network) security tools to personal digital assistants,...

Check Point Software Technologies is extending its VPN (virtual private network) security tools to personal digital assistants, with the launch of a version of its VPN-1 SecureClient for Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 and Handheld PC 2002 PDAs.

Check Point's vice president of global marketing, Carol Stone, made the announcement at a news conference here at the CeBIT trade show yesterday.

The Check Point software package combines a personal firewall, secure remote access and centralised management functions, and will run on pocket PC devices from Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, and handheld devices from HP.

Check Point's announcement comes a day after Novell announced a version of its Zenworks management software for handheld devices and an upgrade to its iFolder synchronisation tool that allows handheld devices to access files over the Web.

VPN-1 Secure Client allows users to set up a secure connection through their corporate firewall, Check Point said. The software also enables IS staff to manage software configurations remotely over an encrypted connection, and to send out updates from a central site - but so far the only handhelds that can be managed in this way are those running software based on Microsoft's Windows CE operating system.
"We don't see demand for (a version for) Palm OS yet," Stone said.

Check Point UK Business development manager, Raymond Kruck said the company is working with Nokia - a long-term partner on other projects - to develop a version for the Symbian operating system used in handheld devices from Nokia and Ericsson.

"That's probably the next step for us. Palm is mainly a consumer platform," Kruck said.

The company did not announce pricing or shipping dates for the software.
Microsoft mobility group manager Adam Anger, said the need for software such as Check Point's personal firewall is "becoming critical because you are starting to get products with built-in wireless access".

The latest edition of Microsoft's operating system for desktop PCs includes firewall functions, but its Pocket PC 2002 software for handhelds, which was released to manufacturers before XP, does not, Anger said.
But this will change: "You can guarantee that the ultimate in security will be built into every Windows client device, including Pocket PCs" before long, he said. He would not say whether a future firewall for Pocket PCs would be built in-house or bought in.

Novell's ZenWorks for Handhelds 4.7 will allow IS managers to manage and update applications from a central point on devices running Palm OS, Windows CE and Pocket PC software. The update is now available, initially for $49 per user and later for $59, said a Novell statement.

Novell also announced an update of its file-synchronisation software, to iFolder Professional Edition 2. Novell is targeting service providers with the new version's ability to support millions of users by presenting multiple servers as a single-system image. A billing and reporting system tracks which departments or subscribers are using the system. In addition, iFolder Professional Edition 2 will allow users of handheld devices running Palm OS, Pocket PC or Windows CE to access their files using a Web browser.
IFolder Professional Edition 2 now offers support for Linux and Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating systems, in addition to existing support for Novell NetWare and Microsoft's Windows NT/2000, Novell said.

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