Rainbow Technologies has announced an alternative to VPN-based security: NetSwift iGate, a security appliance that protects Web-enabled corporate resources via two-factor user authentication.
I easily downloaded the iGate driver to a workstation; plugged a USB token, called iKey, into the USB port; and, once authenticated, was prompted for a password. The iGate is designed to reside behind a companys firewall and in front of its Web server, with no re-configuration or added hardware or software necessary.
The iKey contains only the authentication information for a user; the domain access rights are changed through the access control manager without reprogramming the token. In the event that users lose their iKey or forget their iKey password, administrators can supply a temporary user name and password.
The biggest drawback, as with any authentication system that requires a physical token, is that if the token is lost, users are cut off from their data and applications until they get a new key.
NetSwift iGate, slated to ship at months end, is priced just less than $10,000 for a 50-client starter pack, which includes 50 iKeys. The iKey USB tokens start at $29 each with volume discounts available. For more info, go to www.rainbow.com.