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F5 Delivers Industry First Unified Solution for Securing Application Access for Remote, LAN and Wireless LAN Users

New release of F5's FirePass SSL VPN integrated with the BIG-IP application traffic manager enables secure universal application access through centralized policy management and multi-gigabit performance

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced a new release of its award-winning FirePass® Controller. The new version of F5's Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network (SSL VPN) solution features enhanced integration with F5's BIG-IP® Application Traffic Management platform, establishing F5 as the only vendor in the industry that can unify and centralize security and access control for remote, wireless LAN (WLAN), and Local Area Network (LAN) users and scale to the performance requirements necessary to meet universal access throughput demands. The addition of extending the FirePass product's broad endpoint security within the WLAN and LAN infrastructure further hardens the security protections within an organization providing an efficient method of control.

"The fundamental problem for most organizations is that they are currently required to define and manage secure user access at too many points and products within the network for the same users," said Erik Giesa, VP of Product Management and Marketing at F5 Networks. "For remote access, an organization will configure and administer policies on the SSL VPN for their users. For WLAN access they will have to configure and administer policies on the WLAN switch for the same users. For LAN access they'll administer and control policies on the LAN switch, again for the same users. Not only is this inefficient, but the complexity of the situation lends itself to unintentionally creating security holes and actually prevents many organizations from deploying WLANs and broad remote access. F5 takes it even further by extending our comprehensive endpoint security checks to all devices regardless of where and how a user is accessing the network."

With this FirePass release, F5 has made a market-defining move by enabling an organization to define end-users' access policies and endpoint security in just one place: on the FirePass Controller. This reduces the costs of administration by eliminating the need to set up and maintain Access Control Lists (ACLs) on multiple LAN switches, SSL VPN appliances, and separate wireless LAN switches. With FirePass, a user's access method is supported whether they happen to be accessing the network remotely, on the wireless LAN, or even when directly connected to the LAN. In addition, FirePass' comprehensive endpoint security can be enforced for all users accessing the network, not just for remote users. This new secure universal access is enabled through the integration of the BIG-IP and FirePass products. The new version also includes features designed to significantly streamline policy definition, management and troubleshooting, so enterprises can cost-effectively support a virtually unlimited number of users. With the combined solution, customers can leverage capabilities in BIG-IP such as rate shaping to provide application level QoS for remote, wireless and internal LAN application access. In addition, the BIG-IP Application Security Module offers best of breed web application firewall capabilities when providing secure access to web applications such as partner access to extranet portals.

"The benefits of SSL VPNs for remote user access are obvious, but there have been challenges when it comes to deploying these solutions at the enterprise level and extending their reach to all access modes. With the new version, F5 has made 'universal application access' a practical reality," said Aaron Vance, Senior Analyst, Synergy Research Group. "The integration with BIG-IP goes a long way toward solving the performance issues inherent with supporting a large number of users at LAN speeds, and new usability features will help lower management costs while giving network administrators the granular control they need to enforce security policies."

Highlights of the new version of FirePass Controller include:

Enhanced performance optimization and scalability features designed to dramatically increase performance and lower management costs for organizations using F5's BIG-IP Traffic Management solutions. These include SSL Offloading, which enables the BIG-IP to manage a FirePass cluster, terminating tens of thousands of concurrent SSL VPN sessions with its load-balancing functionality, as well as SSL VPN Rate Shaping and Bandwidth Management.

Enhanced management and usability features include extensions to the FirePass product's Visual Policy Editor (VPE), a unique tool that is designed to enable administrators to graphically map even the most complex access policies more easily and accurately and automate policy configuration based on endpoint device. The FirePass product also handles auto-remediation of security policy violations, re-directing end users to a site where they can download patches or find information that enables them to get back into compliance and gain access without calling the help desk. In addition, FirePass includes auto-login extensions to provide single sign on (SSO) for all access modes and mobile user password management extensions to enable end-users to reset their expired passwords themselves without calling the help desk.

Enhanced end-point security features that reduce enterprise risk and support stronger policy enforcement. These include 'out-of-the-box' integration with nearly 100 desktop anti-virus and firewall engines - the industry's broadest range - as well as advanced protection against spyware and malware threats such as key loggers, Trojan horses and remote control programs. Now organizations can enforce and apply end-point security not just for remote users but for any user regardless of how they're connected; via WLANs, and even when they're directly connected on the LAN. The benefit is a dramatic reduction of viruses and malware incidents and a common framework for endpoint security enforcement before they're allowed to connect to the network.

About FirePass Controller

F5's award-winning FirePass Controller enables enterprises to provide secure remote access to network resources using any web-enabled device and over a range of access networks, regardless of location. With FirePass Controller, organizations benefit from superior performance and scalability, easy management, and the most advanced application security. It also offers the industry's only open Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Developer's Kit (SDK) to reduce the total cost of ownership through increased automation. And, with a F5 solution, customers can be ensured of complete business continuity by deploying F5's global traffic management product with F5's SSL VPN solution.


The new version of the FirePass product is available now. Existing F5 customers with current maintenance agreements and hardware platforms can take advantage of all the capabilities in the new release of the FirePass product. For more information on FirePass controller, visit

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking. F5 provides solutions that make applications secure, fast and available for everyone, helping organizations get the most out of their investment. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications, F5 optimizes applications and allows them to work faster and consume fewer resources. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protection for the application and the network, and delivers application reliability - all on one universal platform. Over 9,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their applications running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information go to

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