Nortel Networks Introduces SSL-based Secure Extranets for Enterprise Customers; Enables Secure Connectivity for Remote Users Equipped with Web Browsers

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 23, 2002 -- Nortel Networks (NYSE:NT) (TSX:NT.) today introduced technology to position companies to simply and cost-effectively provide secure application access to traveling employees, telecommuters, business partners and customers.

A critical component of Nortel Networks Unified Security Architecture announced separately today, this new technology uses the secure sockets layer (SSL) capabilities embedded in Internet browsers to give remote users simple and secure access to enterprise applications like e-mail and calendaring; file transfer; native Web applications; enterprise application portals; and legacy applications that require secure access.

"Building on the success of our Alteon SSL accelerator appliance, we are providing secure, seamless connections that can be established from virtually any end device that supports a Web browser," said Atul Bhatnagar, vice president and general manager, Ethernet Switching, Nortel Networks.

"This can be especially critical for companies with a mobile workforce or business partners that require access to applications from geographically dispersed locations or third-party network environments," Bhatnagar said. "SSL extranets provide convenience -- trusted users can share information from Internet kiosks or across multiple networks -- enabling time-sensitive, critical information to be shared securely."

Nortel Networks Alteon SSL 410 creates SSL extranets by managing user SSL sessions and proxy applications, and offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional IP VPNs. By securing only the application layer, end user devices need not be equipped with the VPN client that enables secure access to the entire corporate network. Also, disruption of data center operations associated with deploying security capabilities is minimized with deployment of 'plug-and-play' Alteon SSL accelerator appliances.

"We believe Alteon SSL 410 has the feature set and performance capabilities to allow us the level of security we require in our data center environment without adding complexity and unnecessary cost," said Somnath Sarkar, vice president of operations, Citibank India.

"We are looking forward to evaluating it, based on our experience with Alteon SSL 310, which has proven to be a critical element of our optimized data center infrastructure, delivering improved performance, scalability and cost savings over alternative SSL solutions," Sarkar said. "We are considering Alteon SSL 410 to create a secure customer extranet that will enable Citibank India to offer our online customers more services through their Web browsers without compromising performance or customer privacy."

Alteon SSL 410 provides end-to-end SSL processing, capable of supporting 16,000 simultaneous SSL sessions and initiating 2,000 sessions per second with backend encryption. The SSL accelerator family is extremely scalable, allowing customers to deploy as much capability as they need when they need it.

"Having already established leadership in the IP VPN space, Nortel Networks is the first established vendor that has the necessary experience in this field to bring credibility to the SSL extranet market," said Dave Kosiur, senior analyst, The Burton Group. "Given the complementary aspects of SSL extranets and IP VPNs, the company has a very cohesive solution that will go far in enabling their enterprise customers to determine how they can best secure their critical traffic."

"Companies are looking for ways to simplify their VPN deployments and this initiative certainly furthers their options," Kosiur said. "The net result will be greater security and the greater business flexibility and productivity afforded by secure communications."

Alteon SSL 410 provides user authentication and advanced filtering functions -- for extranet and application access control -- as well as SSL session initiation for remote users. The ability to consolidate keys and certificates on the appliance provides ease of management and configuration. Intranet applications can be translated to work with remote user devices, including computers, handhelds, Web-enabled cell phones, and personal digital assistants. Additionally, integrated auditing features enable Alteon SSL 410 to track usage and manage application access.

Alteon SSL 410 incorporates Layer 4-7 features like load balancing, filtering, session persistence and server health checking. These features, combined with secure application tunneling, provide end-to-end encryption and optimized application performance and availability for secure extranets. Alteon SSL Accelerator appliances offload SSL processing, including SSL handshakes, key exchanges and encryption/decryption functions, thus increasing the performance of servers and the number of clients whose secure and non-secure Web sessions can be managed simultaneously.

Alteon SSL 410 and 310 can also complement Nortel Networks Alteon Ethernet switch product line to perform SSL offload functions before data traffic reaches the application servers. By terminating and decrypting HTTPS sessions before the data traffic is introduced to the servers, secure traffic can be inspected and intelligently switched or redirected to the best application servers within the data center. This also enables higher-layer functionality (Layer 4-7) -- like content intelligence, load balancing, traffic shaping, content filtering, URL switching, cookie switching and personalized services -- to be implemented with each session for both HTTP and HTTPS traffic. This, in turn, enables high performance for secure, eCommerce Web sites.

Nortel Networks was #1 in the overall global market for dedicated SSL appliances with a 48 percent market share in the first half of 2002, according to Infonetics Research. The Alteon SSL Accelerator line received Network Computing Magazine's Editor's Choice Award in 2001.

Nortel Networks is an industry leader and innovator focused on transforming how the world communicates and exchanges information. The company is supplying its service provider and enterprise customers with communications technology and infrastructure to enable value-added IP data, voice and multimedia services spanning Metro and Enterprise Networks, Wireless Networks and Optical Networks. As a global company, Nortel Networks does business in more than 150 countries. More information about Nortel Networks can be found on the Web at

Certain information included in this press release is forward-looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The results or events predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current expectations include, among other things: the severity and duration of the industry adjustment; the sufficiency of our restructuring activities, including the potential for higher actual costs to be incurred in connection with restructuring actions compared to the estimated costs of such actions; fluctuations in operating results and general industry, economic and market conditions and growth rates; the ability to recruit and retain qualified employees; fluctuations in cash flow, the level of outstanding debt and debt ratings; the ability to meet financial covenants contained in our credit agreements; the ability to make acquisitions and/or integrate the operations and technologies of acquired businesses in an effective manner; the impact of rapid technological and market change; the impact of price and product competition; international growth and global economic conditions, particularly in emerging markets and including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of rationalization in the telecommunications industry; the dependence on new product development; the uncertainties of the Internet; the impact of the credit risks of our customers and the impact of increased provision of customer financing and commitments; stock market volatility; the entrance into an increased number of supply, turnkey, and outsourcing contracts which contain delivery, installation, and performance provisions, which, if not met, could result in the payment of substantial penalties or liquidated damages; the ability to obtain timely, adequate and reasonably priced component parts from suppliers and internal manufacturing capacity; the future success of our strategic alliances; and the adverse resolution of litigation. For additional information with respect to certain of these and other factors, see the reports filed by Nortel Networks with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Nortel Networks disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Nortel Networks, the Nortel Networks logo, the Globemark and Alteon are trademarks of Nortel Networks.


      CONTACT: Nortel Networks
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               Pat Cooper, 408/495-9608                                 
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      SOURCE: Nortel Networks