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Radguard goes quietly

Radguard goes quietly

Despite an attempted comeback after firing everyone in March, the founders of VPN (virtual private network) vendor Radguard say they will liquidate the seven-year-old company, according to reports.

The firm tried recently to refinance and rehire 30 to 50 of its employees, but could not entice them back.

Yehuda Zisapel, one of two brothers who founded the company, took over as CEO to make the resuscitation attempt, but would not talk about its demise.

Radguard made the cIPro line of VPN equipment, which included hardware for branch offices and corporate headquarters fed by large dedicated links, and a certificate authority and PC client for remote-access VPN use. The gear twice ranked well among VPN equipment tested by Network World, winning a blue ribbon in 1999.

"Their strengths were in their enterprise management and in their very serious commitment to security," says Joel Snyder, who ran the tests for Network World. "They really refused to compromise on total system security, even going too far sometimes, to make things easier for end users. That ended up costing them some market share, but it also got them a lot of respect."

That a company specialising in VPNs is stumbling could indicate that the major vendors in the area have been established and that times will be tough for others, analysts say. At the same time, demand for VPNs seems to be growing, says Bob Lonadier, an analyst with Hurwitz Group. "We've been looking for a slowdown or easing of demand for firewalls, and we don't see it. We don't see it for VPNs as well, but that doesn't mean VPN companies won't fail."

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