Following the merger of its data communications and security divisions into a single body, Racal Data Communications is now looking to promote its integrated data access and security products through the reseller channel.
While Racal has in the past marketed access and security products separately, it is now using its knowledge in both fields to create secure access solutions.
"What we're doing there is decreasing the cost of the security to organisations, which is quite important because it's always been a high-priced add-on to organisations," says Bruce Goldstone, business development manager, Data Security Systems, at Racal. He says in the past users haven't seen privacy and security as something they would get a return from, but rather as an insurance policy.
Goldstone says the strength of the Racal products are that they are fully integrated, unlike the third-party security solutions offered in some of their competitors' products. "All of our developments are going to be done so that we will view security as an integral part of it."
The main product Racal will be pushing out through channels is TrustMe, a server-based user authentication product developed around industry standard protocols.
TrustMe is based on the challenge-response model, so when users access the system they are issued with a request to enter their log-in ID. That message is sent to the authentication server for validation.
If this is cleared the authentication server issues a random number, which is sent down the network to the end-user. The user then enters this "challenge" into a calculator-like token along with their PIN.
Within the token is a unique DES encryption device, which in turn is unique to the user.
The response from the token is then entered into the network by the user, and sent back through to the authentication server. If the input is incorrect the user is presented with a fresh challenge.
Goldstone says that for many users the above system may be too roundabout, so Racal has developed a client-based software application to replace the token. When it meets with a challenge a window is brought up that prompts the user for the relevant inputs, and automatically generates the response.
TrustMe is targeted at Windows NT resellers and organisations who are already selling remote access servers and firewalls. "If you're a Windows NT reseller already and you're selling PCs and all that sort of thing, you're able to go out and sell a whole system, not just the network access device," said Goldstone.
"You've got the option of expanding and doing a value add for this remote access solution. It might not be that they want it right now, depending on the size of the company, but you're almost turning a remote access server into a mini-firewall product."
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