January 03, 2001, 11:49 AM — GENUITY IS ROLLING out a VPN service designed to provide IP tunneling and encryption to large enterprises with Cisco routers that want to protect their data without investing in costly certificate-based VPNs.
The new IPSec service over Genuity's Tier 1 backbone will offer secure T1 site-to-site connections between remote offices over Cisco's 2620 routers, and secure T3 connections for enterprise headquarters over Cisco's 7204 routers, said Donna Woznicki Murphy, senior product marketing manager for VPN and Internet security at Genuity, a GE spin-off.
"We're looking at U.S.-based medium to large-sized enterprises with 10,000 plus employees," Murphy said. "We're also looking at enterprise accounts with many small branches. We want to be replacing private lines and frame relay."
The new VPN Service for Cisco, which uses Triple DES encryption to secure data, will offer IPSec tunneling for about 20 percent less than Genuity's high-end certificate-based VPN, said Dave Shultz, Genuity product marketing manager for VPN and Internet security. Companies interested in securing intranet communications with telecommuters who need to authenticate their identity for access to internal networks will still need a high-end PKI (public key infrastructure)-based VPN. But the new service is ideal for companies interested in encrypting data for transmission between sites or with business partners, he said.
Because certificate-based VPNs, which use digital signatures to authenticate the identity of a user and ensure data is not altered during transmission, require a significant infrastructure investment, they may prove too costly for some enterprises, said Dave Passmore, research director of the Burton Group.
"With a Triple-DES solution, you can go with much simpler authentication mechanisms," Pasmmore said. "Still, people are very leery of anything that uses IP. All they've got to do is convince people Triple DES is adequate from a security standpoint. Triple DES is more than adequate."
Genuity is offering the service with connectivity for $2,000 per month over 2620 routers and for $25,000 per month over 7204 routers. Without connectivity, the service costs $600 per month over 2620 routers and $1,000 per month over 7204 routers.