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Kobe University Selects F5's FirePass SSL VPN for Secure Remote Access

Switching from IPsec to SSL VPN improves security and convenience while reducing costs and management concerns

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that Kobe University in Japan has implemented the F5®FirePass® SSL VPN remote access solution to improve security and convenience for remote access users both on and off campus.

Kobe University previously used IPsec for remote access to its network but had experienced some of the common problems associated with IPsec technology. With the old system, it was necessary to install special software on client devices, and it could take a great deal of time and effort before students, faculty, and staff were able to access university materials. In some cases, the IPsec setup failed to operate due to variances in operating systems (OSs) or client devices, and differences in users' Internet service providers posed interoperability challenges as well. As a result, the university received numerous complaints from users. In addition to these issues, IT administrators found it difficult to set security policies that accounted for the various devices accessing university resources, giving rise to a host of security concerns.

Kobe University deployed FirePass in spring 2008 to eliminate the problems experienced with the previous IPsec setup. Their new SSL VPN system does not require special software or a specific OS for client connections, but instead enables secure remote access through a standard web browser. The FirePass solution supports a number of popular OSs including Windows Vista, as well as Macintosh and Linux environments. And unlike Kobe's IPsec system, the FirePass solution includes advanced access control capabilities that allow administrators to provide access dynamically based on policy, improving security while reducing costs and management concerns.

On campus, Kobe University uses an ID-based system that is integrated with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). With the FirePass SSL VPN, administrators were able to allow users to continue using the same individual IDs and passwords they used campus-wide, providing a more convenient user experience and simplified management. The ability to link the VPN system with the existing LDAP server was an important factor for the university in selecting the F5 solution.

In addition to routing all remote access of on- and off-campus users through the SSL VPN, Kobe University will continue to leverage F5 solutions to build a robust internal and external network that provides security, usability, and cost-effectiveness.

For more information about the FirePass solution, please visit

About Kobe University

Kobe University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Japan, and is highly regarded for both research and teaching. The university currently has more than 4,500 postgraduate students and 13,000 undergraduate students, including over 1,000 international students from more than 60 countries. The university is a lively and cosmopolitan campus situated in the city of Kobe, one of the largest cities in Japan. For more information, please 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. By adding intelligence and manageability into the network to offload applications and optimize the data storage layer, F5 extends the power of intelligent networking to all levels of application delivery. F5's extensible architecture intelligently integrates application optimization, protects the application and the network, and delivers application reliability. Over 16,000 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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