Sun Delivers Security Announcements

SANTA CLARA, CA--Sun Microsystems is at this year's RSA 2005 security conference, under way this week in San Francisco, to give several announcements. And after years of preaching that "the network is the computer," there's a bit of I-told-you-so swagger in the Santa Clara, CA-based systems company.

"For 24 years, Sun has believed in and designed for a world of networked devices, where security must be built into the DNA of a system," says John Loiacono, EVP of Sun's software group..." Sun knows the challenges, Loiacono says: more devices, less control, distributed organizations, creative bad guys, and more regulation.

Sun will be unveiling some new security enhancements to its Java System Communications Portfolio at the show. The JSC comprises the Java System Messaging Server, Java System Calendar Server, and Java System Instant Messaging products. Sun is enhancing the portfolio with support for the Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions protocol. The S/MIME support will allow JSC users to sign in and encrypt their e-mail communications.

The company is also adding an enhanced delegated administration utility to leverage capabilities of the Java System Access Manager for role-based administration. This enhancement is designed to enable service providers and IT departments to delegate securely the management of communication users' hosted domains or subdomains.

Security-oriented partnerships are also in the offing, according to Sun marketing director Barbara Kay. The company is announcing new relationships with three different security players: network storage company Network Appliance (NetApp), security vendor Symantec, and secure enterprise messaging company MessageGate.

"Secure e-mail from Sun integrated with NetApp enterprise-class storage systems addresses the data retention, security, and privacy concerns of customers by providing a cost-effective, highly scalable, easy-to-deploy, and easy-to-manage solution," Patrick Rogers, VP of partners and alliances marketing at NetApp said in a statement.

Sun is joining forces with Symantec to provide "an integrated solution that combines high-performance message processing with consolidated protection." The idea here is to enable Sun's Java System Messaging Server to communicate directly with Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine, and in the process, detect and remove e-mail that contains viruses from the messaging system before they get to the end user's inbox.

The MessageGate alliance brings that company's compliance technologies to the JCS, allowing enterprises to enforce corporate policies and comply with the latest laws that regulate corporate communications.

Sun is also announcing a free, two-day security workshop for qualified customers. The "Switch to Service Delivery Networks" program employs the SDN framework with the Sun Secure Application Switch (N2000 Series) and Sun Client Solutions analysis and consultation for re-architecting their existing production data networking environments that utilize hardware-based load balancing systems.

Sun is a platinum sponsor of this year's RSA show, and the company's techs and execs will be at the show in force this week. Loiacono is scheduled to speak on Thursday about the challenges today's enterprises face when attempting to deliver both control and agility ("Safe or Safer? Network Security Writ Large"). Sun's chief security officer, Whit Diffie, will headline what is expected to be one of the most widely attended events at the conference: a cryptographers' panel. Sun VP of ID management, Sara Gates, is scheduled to speak. And several Sun technologists are on board to lead breakout sessions on securing and hardening the service infrastructure.

The RSA event is an annual information security trade show and educational conference. This is the 14th RSA show, and even organizers expect more than 10,000 attendees to gather at San Francisco's Moscone Center for five days of keynotes, classes, and product demos--not to mention a chance to schmooze with peers and industry heavyweights.

The speakers' list includes Microsoft chairman and chief architect Bill Gates, Cisco CEO John Chambers, RSA Security chief exec Art Coviello, and Frank Abagnale, author and world-renowned conman, whose best-selling book, "Catch Me if You Can," was made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

More than 250 exhibitors are lined up for this year's show, from large corporations, small start-ups, professional organizations, and government agencies. Attendees will have 200 business and technical workshops in 16 different educational tracks to choose from.

The conference runs Feb 14-18.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].