Hewlett-Packard Co. has bolstered its Praesidium Internet security framework with the addition of two name-brand technologies.

Aventail VPN for virtual private networks and Axent Technologies Inc.'s Raptor Firewall have become part of the core Praesidium offering, along with Hewlett-Packard's Virtual Vault and Authorization Server.

All four are well established. Virtual Vault has been put to use by dozens of banks and their on-line software providers. Citibank and Bank of America were among the first to adopt the recently integrated Authorization Server for managing access to secure data bases and applications.

Formally closing the VPN and firewall gaps in an announcement earlier this month, Hewlett-Packard can legitimately put the "total solution" label on Praesidium, said marketing manager Lior Arussy.

Praesidium represents the "enterprise security" that buyers otherwise have had to cobble together from multiple products, Mr. Arussy added.

"I call a lot of the talk 'P.R. interoperability'-it only exists on press releases," he said. "We at HP are expected to deliver the kind of complete solution we always talk about. With the bundling of Raptor and the integration of Aventail already done, we can now deliver true interoperability."

Raptor is one of the leading firewall systems. Under Axent's OEM- original equipment manufacturer-agreement, HP on Dec. 1 will become the primary source for Raptor on HP-UX operating systems. Hewlett-Packard will also sell the software for competing Microsoft NT and Sun Solaris platforms. It took those licenses "for when we are in the position of independent software vendor," Mr. Arussy said.

The price range of Raptor, which protects an Internet business from unauthorized access, is $2,500 for up to 25 users to $19,000 for unlimited users on a Unix-based network. For NT, it is $3,995 for up to 100 users and $12,500 for unlimited.

The Aventail Corp. VPN offering adds a critical level of security in extranets, where corporations authorize access from external networks. "Only Aventail's solution effectively eliminates the risk of an enterprise inheriting another network's security flaws," said Roberto Medrano, general manager of HP's Internet security operation.

Besides working with Virtual Vault and HP-UX, Aventail VPN supports Windows NT, Solaris, AIX, BSDI, Digital Unix, and Linux platforms. It also is available from HP on Dec. 1, with prices starting at $7,995, before quantity discounts.

"We also licensed from Aventail across the board, which is an extension of what we currently do and strengthens our commitment to the security market," Mr. Arussy said.

He described Virtual Vault, Authorization Server, Raptor, and VPN as Praesidium's "core architecture." Around that, HP will bring in strategic partners, as it has in the public key infrastructure and certificate authority areas with GTE Cybertrust and Verisign Inc.

Mr. Arussy contrasted HP with "many players in this area (that) are single-product or start-up companies and don't spell confidence and trust.

"This should be exciting for large financial organizations. They can build what they are doing into an interoperable architecture, or buy the architecture all at once and not have to deal with a lot of single products."

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