Perfigo Launches Software for Security/Management

By Eric Griffith

April 30, 2003

Perfigo wants to protect and manage multi-vendor WLAN deployments in various vertical markets. Its solution is the Linux-based SecureSmart Suite.

In what they're calling the first software-only solution for taking control of management and security of an 802.11 deployment, San Francisco based Perfigo this week announced the general availability of its SecureSmart suite.

"We were founded to bring together WLAN security and management under a single architecture that can make a difference in the life of an IT manager," says Scott Lukes, vice president of marketing at the company.

SecureSmart is what they sell-- a centralized software suite that runs on a Linux box that scalable as processor power is added to it. Lukes says the base system on a single processor PC can handle up to 40 802.11b access points. The suite has three parts: the SmartManager software runs on the Linux server which choreographs the security among up to 64 SecureSmart Server gateway units that sit on the network edge. The SmartManager handles configuration of any access points, detects rogues and handles roaming.

The SecureSmart Server appliances handles security with integrated VPN, firewall, and authentication proxy. Using its IPSec service, it grants a dynamic session key to users about every five minutes. It also has DHCP server built in to dole out IP addresses to client systems (or forward them if another DHCP server is on the network).

A software client that runs on Windows and Macintosh computers is optional. Lukes says it takes advantage of using IPSec on the client, easing authentication with the network with one click of an icon in the system tray. However, users can use any IPSec client, such as the one built into Linux.

Perfigo has been around since last year and has operated in relative stealth mode, yet already has eight customers in markets such as healthcare and education, including places like Stanford University.

"The customers are all really just happy with us and are willing to tell other people about it," says Lukes.

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