California-based iPass this week announced the availability of Virtual Office and Device Lockdown solutions as part of the company’s effort to provide enterprises a unified package that lets employees securely work from mobile and remote broadband connections.

With Virtual Office, an enterprise user can access a corporate VPN from almost any kind of connection, including dialup, Wi-Fi, cable modem, DSL and 3G wireless networks, said Piero DePaoli, product marketing manager for iPass.

“The point of this is that we’ve made the connection experience for the user identical in all those scenarios—even those [where] completely different authentication methods and security practices were used in the background—so the user doesn’t have to actually understand anything about it,” DePaoli said in an interview with MRT. “They click to find an available network, click to connect and iPass does the rest.”

One reason iPass can offer such a comprehensive connectivity portfolio is the company’s decision earlier this year to acquire GoRemote, which provided expertise in fixed broadband services, DePaoli said. Including home connection in the iPass suite of offerings allows enterprises to maintain securely managed network usage—something many enterprises overlook amid an explosion of connectivity options.

“Enterprises have really turned a blind eye and have allowed their users to use services like this,” DePaoli said. “Instead of providing a corporate, managed service—a standard way of getting connected—they’ve let their users go out and do what they needed to, because those things are available to users pretty easily.”

To help ensure security within the enterprise network, iPass has announced Device Lockdown, which automatically checks to ensure that a device accessing the corporate VPN complies with its policies, including installation of security software, DePaoli said.
“All this happens without any interaction by the user,” he said. “When the PC sees the Internet, we will lock it up so that it only can get to iPass servers, and the iPass server will check to see that it is in compliance. If it is, great. If it’s not, we’ll fix that on behalf of the user and let them get on with their work.”

And, when a laptop is stolen—something that happens 750,000 times annually—Device Lockdown lets IT managers take action to ensure that valuable information on the device is not taken, DePaoli said. A “poison pill” that deletes all data can be pushed to the device as soon as it connects to the Internet. In addition, a policy can be created to wipe out the data if the device does not connect to the Internet for an extended period of time, he said.

Separately, iPass this week also announced agreements extending its mobility management services to 3G wireless coverage in China, Japan and Hong Kong. All of these agreements are with carriers that utilize CDMA-based networks, DePaoli said.