PDAs meet VPNs

Those handheld PDAs that are so often given away as prizes at trade shows are more than just status symbols. They are becoming an indispensable part of corporate employees’ digital arsenals.

As such, they represent security threats when remote users with PDA modems access the corporate network. Just a few weeks ago, Certicom introduced a lightweight VPN client for handhelds that creates IP Security tunnels into corporate networks.

Almost immediately, Internet access specialist iPass leapt on Certicom’s movianVPN software as the basis for a new service, iPassConnect PDA.

The service enables roaming users to connect to corporate VPNs over secure Internet connections and requires a modem and two pieces of software on the PDA.

First, the PDAs need a lightweight version of iPass’ dialer, called iPass Synch. They also need movianVPN. Users dial up an iPass-affiliated ISP that is in the local calling area where the user happens to be. They access the corporate VPN server and authenticate using name and password, and the movianVPN client sets up a secure tunnel to the VPN.

Certicom has an ambitious program for enhancing movianVPN that will make it easier for enterprises to manage. In the meantime, if you are using iPass anyway as a method for your roaming users to call in to your VPN, you might experiment with iPassConnect PDA. It costs the same as using iPass’s VPN service for laptops.

This story, "PDAs meet VPNs " was originally published by Network World.

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