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Cisco Alums Launch Security Startup


Cisco Systems LogoSecurity startup Rohati Systems emerged out of stealth mode today and unveiled a multigigabit-speed network appliance for controlling user access to applications.

Rohati’s Transaction Network System (TNS) appliance, which will ship in July, handles user entitlement management with per-transaction policies across multiple applications. The appliance plugs into the network and doesn’t use client agent software nor does it require any changes to the applications themselves, according to Rohati officials. “By sitting in the network, we understand the protocol the user is using to connect to the application,” says Shane Buckley, president and CEO of Rohati.

Rohati, which was founded by four former Cisco Systems network and security engineers and a product manager, uses Layer 7 access control lists to define user rights to various applications and related policies via the Extensible Access ControL Markup Language (XACML) standard.

“In the past, the approach to securing access to applications trusted everyone inside the firewall. That’s not true anymore — the people inside can’t necessarily be trusted,” Buckley says. “You need to ensure access to applications they are entitled to only.”

Communications test and measurement company JDSU is currently evaluating Rohati’s TNS appliance as a possible solution for controlling access and authorization to its applications. “We want to solve our access control, authentication, and security at the systems and applications from a network standpoint,” says William Turner, information security officer for JDSU.

JDSU, like many other large organizations, has been consolidating its multiple data centers, which makes access control even more challenging, according to Turner. “And as data centers become more consolidated, they’re not buying more bandwidth. The backend is becoming bigger… and you need to keep up with that. The biggest bottleneck today between routing rules and security devices is the security layer.”

Rohati has two versions of the appliance, the TNS 100, which scales up to four Gbit/s of traffic and is priced at $20,000; and the TNS 50, which operates at up to 40 Gbit/s, for $85,000.

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