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Today's increasingly sophisticated and mobile workforces are demanding remote access from multiple fixed and wireless devices, and want access as if they were on their local corporate networks. SSL VPNs offer users the benefit of "anywhere access." Because SSL is included in standard browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape, SSL VPNs offer the possibility of a clientless solution. Users can access their applications from anywhere they have Internet access: from an airport kiosk, from another person's computer, or even using a wireless device. SSL VPNs also work over broadband networks. In addition, SSL VPNs can successfully traverse firewalls and can handle network address translation (NAT) issues, which can be problematic with IP Security (IPsec)-based VPNs.
With the Cisco WebVPN Services Module based on SSL VPN technology, salespeople can download corporate customer relationship management data from the field. Manufacturing plant managers can track inventories and place orders before supplies reach critically low levels. Doctors can transmit prescription authorization from the bedside of a patient. Shop-floor managers at manufacturing firms can place on-the-spot orders.
The Cisco WebVPN Services Module provides easy access to a broad range of Web resources and Web-enabled applications, from almost any computer that can reach Secure HTTP (HTTPS) Internet sites. The module uses the SSL protocol and its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), to provide a secure connection between remote users and specific, supported internal resources that are configured at a central site.
The Cisco WebVPN Services Module delivers clientless, thin-client, and SSL tunneling client access methods, enabling the appropriate level of application access based on the end-system deployment environment, such as employees, extranets, and non-company-managed devices. With the SSL VPN Client for WebVPN, Cisco delivers a lightweight, centrally configured, easy-to-support SSL VPN tunneling client that allows access to virtually any application. The SSL VPN Client for WebVPN is compatible with any SSL-enabled browser and is dynamically pushed to the user. Clientless access with the Cisco WebVPN Services Module allows users to connect with few requirements beyond a basic Web browser; once connected, they can access Web servers or other resources such as shared files and e-mail through Microsoft Outlook Web Access 2003.