FTP adds security to its TCP/IP suite

FTP Software Inc. today announced a new version of its Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol connectivity suite, which the company says is the first to support Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 and also offer Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), a de facto standard for sending secure electronic mail over the Internet.

OnNet32 v2.0 is a suite of products that let users connect Windows 95 and Windows NT PCs to intranets or to the Internet. New security features in the suite should be the biggest selling point for government users, said John O'HARA, director of engineering at FTP.

For example, IPSECurity lets users create private networks between two PCs or between a PC and a firewall. IPSECurity "allows PCs to authenticate to firewalls or other PCs, which is important when you're using a laptop out on the road," O'HARA said. "This allows you to authenticate from your laptop to your firewall so it trusts what you're sending through."

Users can also build virtual private networks through OnNet32's support for CheckPoint Software Technologies Ltd.'s Firewall-1 SecuRemote firewall, and they can conduct secure transactions over the World Wide Web via Secure Sockets Layer. OnNet32 is also the first product to bundle PGP.

Tom Steding, chief executive officer of Pretty Good Privacy, a company formed to commercialize PGP, said he expects other companies to follow FTP's lead and bundle PGP into their products.

In addition, the OnNet32 operating system supports IP v6.0, "so federal users can move ahead with assigning IP addresses to users," O'HARA said.

"For defense contractors, IP Version 6 will be a real benefit" in terms of its scalability to add an almost unlimited number of IP addresses.

OnNet32 also supports WinSock v2.0, which provides 32-bit interoperability with other WinSock applications.

Despite competition from companies such as Microsoft, government business is still good for TCP/IP, said Michael Shatz, the director of government sales for FTP.

"We're still doing enterprise deals with agencies that need industrial-strength TCP/IP" products with additional features, he said.

Strong Hold on TCP/IP Market

FTP led in worldwide, nonembedded PC TCP/IP shipments last year with more than 27.7 percent of the market, according to International Data Corp. Attachmate Corp., which holds 5.9 percent of the worldwide market, is probably FTP's biggest competitor in the federal market, according to FTP, which counts the Army, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Postal Service among its federal users.

OnNet32 will be available on a number of General Services Administration schedules, including those held by International Systems Marketing and Comteq Federal. The suite will also be added to Electronic Data Systems Corp.'s Unified Local-Area Networking Architecture contract and Hughes Data Systems' Desktop V contract. The product will ship in late summer.

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