AttachmateWRQ Boosts Security in 'Reflection' Emulation Suite
Published: June 27, 2006
by Alex Woodie
AttachmanteWRQ this month rolled out a major new release of Reflection, one of two terminal emulation suites owned by the company since the merger of WRQ and Attachmate last year. The new version brings numerous security improvements, including a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificate manager, support for smart card authentication, and support for IBM's Express Logon Feature (ELF). Meanwhile, AttachmateWRQ's half-a-billion-dollars acquisition of security software vendor NetIQ cleared another hurdle.
Keeping on top of the current versions of the Reflection suite is a little difficult, as there are no less than 15 individual products in the suite, which was originally developed by WRQ. The eight thick-client Reflection products are all at version 14. These include the Reflection product for accessing the iSeries and mainframes (Reflection for IBM), Reflection for UNIX and OpenVMS, Reflection for HP with NS/VT (for accessing Hewlett-Packard HP e3000 and HP 9000 hosts), Reflection for X (for accessing Windows servers), and Reflection for NFS (for accessing predominantly Unix hosts through the Windows interface). Users can also get several emulators in a single package with the Reflection Suite for X and for Reflection for Multi-Host Enterprise, which is available in both standard and professional editions. The browser-based emulator, called Reflection for Web, has been updated to version 9, while Reflection for Secure IT, a secure file transfer program that is not available for the iSeries, has been upgraded to version 6.1.
All thick-client versions of Reflection will have access to stronger security as a result of the new Reflection Certificate Manager, which is available free of charge with all thick-client versions of the product. Users of the thin-client Reflection for the Web can also benefit from the features associated with the Certificate Manager through its Security Proxy Server and Management Server.
The new Reflection Certificate Manager is designed to enable customers to boost security by hooking Reflection into their existing PKI environments, while not introducing any additional dialogues or complexity to the end user, according to Damon Dreke, product marketing manager at AttachmateWRQ.
"PKI is becoming the de facto standard for enterprise security infrastructures, and certificates are a key component of any PKI," Dreke says via e-mail. "The Reflection Certificate Manager helps administrators store, organize, and search their end-user certificates. It also allows for identifying a LDAP server to check against a centrally managed CRL [Certificate Revocation List]. In addition, the Reflection Certificate Manager makes configuring smart card authentication much easier than it has been in the past" through support for RSA Security's Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) #11 interface. Lastly, the Certificate Manager, through its Reflection Key Agent certificates, helps enable customers deploy single sign-on (SSO) authentication.
iSeries and mainframe users also benefit through new support for IBM's Enterprise Logon Feature, or ELF, in Reflection for IBM version 14. Lastly, AttachmateWRQ has introduced "automatic Kerberos sign-on," which the company says lets users sign on to iSeries hosts using Windows credentials or any other Kerberos ticket available to Java.
This release also brings several non -security-related enhancements, including clickable Internet hotlinks in the emulator, a new option to hide the operator information area (OIA), which the company says increases usable presentation space, and support for Microsoft Windows XP x64 Edition.
AttachmateWRQ also added a new member to its secure file transfer suite. With Reflection for Secure IT version 6.1, a z/OS-based mainframe solution has been added to the suite, which previously only supported Windows, Unix, and Linux. "Mainframe-based organizations are especially struggling with File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which when unsecured can leave organizations exposed as passwords and sensitive data travel between the FTP client and server," the company says. By keeping mainframes in the loop with other systems, it boosts security, the company says.
The new versions of Reflection are available now. Windows-based Reflection products are available using desktop licensing or concurrent licensing schemes, while Reflection for Secure IT is licensed on a per-machine basis. More specific pricing was not disclosed by the vendor.
Meanwhile, AttachmateWRQ's acquisition of NetIQ came one step closer to completion last Tuesday when a majority of NetIQ's shareholders gave their approval for the deal to go through during a special meeting. Under the terms of the merger agreement, AttachmateWRQ has agreed to pay $12.20 per share in cash to NetIQ shareholders, for a total transaction value of approximately $495 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June, which is Friday.
AttachmateWRQ was formed last summer when a group of investors led by Golden Gate Capital, Francisco Partners, and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners bought Attachmate and merged it with WRQ, which the investment group bought in December 2004.