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Cyno Announces MacRADIUS Authentication Server


Cyno Technologies, Inc. announced the upcoming availability of its MacRADIUS Authentication Server. Based on the Internet-standard RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) protocol, MacRADIUS offers a powerful yet easy-to-use command center for managing the authentication and configuration of users dialing in to networks. MacRADIUS lets a network administrator keep a single database of user information that can be utilized by multiple network access server devices from different vendors, and allows the administrator to manage this database with a graphical user interface that streamlines and simplifies tasks. The new software, currently in beta test, is scheduled for delivery in August.

Unlike Unix-based RADIUS servers that require an administrator to modify and compile source code, Cyno Technologies' MacRADIUS provides an elegant, no-hassle solution for centralized authentication. MacRADIUS comes ready to run, and through its intuitive but highly customizable human interface, allows the administrator to assign users to groups that define some or all of the "attributes" to be applied when the user dials in to the network. In addition, the way in which attributes are displayed to the administrator can be easily tailored to the requirements of each network. And because MacRADIUS runs under Apple Computer's Mac(tm) OS, it is not susceptible to the potential security breaches that can afflict Unix-based applications. "This combination of Macintosh interface technology, a powerful database engine, and the security and stability of Apple networking makes this one of the most compelling RADIUS solutions available," said Ward Willats, Cyno Technologies co-founder. "We look forward to extending Macintosh leadership in Internet solutions with the most flexible RADIUS server available on any platform."

When a remote computer user dials in to a network, the network access server (NAS) ensures network security by determining that the user is authorized to connect to the network and use its resources. This process is called authentication. In single-NAS environments with a small number of authorized users, the information used in this authentication process may be stored in a database within the NAS. But as a user community grows, the database may grow beyond the NAS's storage capacity, or it may become necessary to use additional NAS devices to handle the larger number of simultaneous connections. At this point, it becomes either impractical or impossible to keep multiple dial-in user databases synchronized or segregated among multiple NAS devices.

MacRADIUS delivers the solution for this problem, allowing an administrator to consolidate all of the user account information from many network access server devices in a single place. When a call comes in, the NAS sends an "access request" to MacRADIUS, presenting the dial-in user's credentials and asking MacRADIUS if it is OK to allow the person dialing in to use the network. MacRADIUS looks up the user in its database, checks the credentials, and, if all is in order, sends back an "access accept" which contains information about the network resources accessible to the dial-in user.

Besides this authentication service, MacRADIUS also provides a single place for NAS devices to send operational information, such as who is connected to what port, and how long a session has lasted. This service is called accounting, and the information gathered can be used to track resource usage or generate bills for network service.

"The simplicity of setup and administration of the MacRADIUS Authentication Server makes it possible to use the RADIUS standard in new environments," said Allen Cronce, President of Cyno Technologies. "Settings such as schools and small businesses, where the requirement for a Unix server prohibited the use of RADIUS before, can now use MacRADIUS to take advantage of centralized authentication, administration, and accounting with Macintosh ease-of-use."

Cyno Technologies has been an active participant in, and vigorous contributor to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RADIUS Working Group, and closely tracks the evolution of the standard. MacRADIUS Authentication Server implements the latest draft specification for MacRADIUS, and because of its flexible structure and customizable user interface, can support vendor-specific features as they are defined.

Availability of Cyno Technologies' MacRADIUS Authentication Server is scheduled for mid-August, 1996. The product will be available in two full-featured configurations: a standard version that supports up to 1,000 authorized users, and a professional version that supports up to 5,000 users. Standard U.S. prices are $399 for the standard version, and $899 for the professional version. An upgrade from the standard to the professional version, and expansion upgrades for the professional version will also be available. Prices may be higher outside the United States due to local taxes and tariffs.

In addition, a time-limited evaluation version of MacRADIUS will be available for downloading from Cyno Technologies' World Wide Web site or on diskette in the U.S. for $20 (tax and shipping included), applicable to the purchase of either full-featured MacRADIUS version.


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