Cisco launches unified network-access client

Cisco launches unified network-access client

Secure Services Client 4.0 gives users a single log-on interface for attaching to different networks

Cisco this week launched network access-client software that gives users a single-logon interface for attaching to wired, wireless or remote-access networks.

The Secure Services Client 4.0 combines several network-access technologies into a single piece of software, giving customers the same interface for corporate network access. Cisco says the software makes network administration and access management easier by reducing the number of user client applications that need to be distributed and supported.

The 4.0 release aggregates a range of network-access protocols and connection methods, including 802.1X -- a protocol for authenticating users to a network device or port, as well as several versions of the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). For wireless access, the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocols as also supported in the software. Data encryption using Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology are also supported.

The client software also works with Cisco's Secure Access Control Server (ACS) -- an authentication server and network access management platform. The Secure Services Client 4.0 also works with Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) architecture, which provides user device scanning and authentication services for PCs and laptops, and other machines attempting to access a corporate network.

The Secure Services Client is based on technology Cisco acquired from Meetinghouse Data Communications in July, when it bought the network access company for US$43.7 million.

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