Kevin James - The IT Control Specialists

    Smoothwall: New Features for 2015

    Smoothwall update ‘Arundel’

    What is Smoothwall? Click here to find out more.

    Like the breathtaking castles that inspire their names, Smoothwall 2015 product updates are large, resilient, secure and built to last. Arundel is the first of these updates, rolling out from January 2015, bringing authentication improvements, ‘Smoothwall Connect’ for Chromebooks, and a number of additional enhancements and fixes.

    Easy Login is a pair of login scripts, one each for Windows and Mac. When a proxy is deployed in-line/transparently, authentication behaviour can be difficult to manage. This not only provides a simple way to ensure consistent authentication behaviour with transparent proxies, but also ensures that non-web applications are authenticated correctly with the proxy from the moment you log on.

    Smart Redirect: In mixed device environments, our new Smart Redirect feature will identify the device’s operating system, and apply the best available authentication method. For instance, you can automatically provide an SSL login page to iOS or Android devices, but authenticate Windows PCs with NTLM.

    Finally, having seen complications that arise from networks with multiple authentication methods in use, Smoothwall have developed Username Normalization. Different authentication types present usernames in different formats: Kerberos may present user.name@domain, NTLM would present DOMAIN\user.name, and SSL logins could present User.Name.

    This function normalises the username types, and helps provide clean, easy-to-read reports, ensuring consistency throughout your system. This feature is set to OFF as a default since it is a behaviour change.

    Smoothwall web filtering products now support Single Sign-On authentication for Chromebook use. When your users initially log on to their Chromebooks, those same credentials will be used to authenticate the user with Smoothwall. There are no login portals, and the functionality works perfectly both on site and remotely.

    In 2015, Chromebooks overtook iPads in sales to the US education market — which services thousands of off-site users in each district network. As this user base grows rapidly, Smoothwall will be here to ensure painless, safe integration of new devices. Smoothwall Connect for Chromebooks can be pushed out quickly across your entire estate from the Google Admin Console.

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