Pragma Systems, a leading SSH solutions provider, announced Cisco and Pragma Systems have collaborated to provide the only government approved and FIPS certified SSH 2-factor solution that provides remote and secure access to Cisco routers and switches for access, control and configuration changes. By utilizing X.509 certificates and CAC/smartcards with Pragma SSH Client, customers now have more secure access and control into their devices or systems for regulatory compliance mandates for 2-factor authentication.

Government, financial and healthcare institutions face significant regulatory compliance, governance and secure file access and sharing restrictions. Today's security environment requires multi-factor and secure authentication to organizations' most trusted secrets and data. Cisco and Pragma have teamed together to provide the only government approved and FIPS certified SSH solution that provides remote and secure access to Cisco routers and switches with the utmost reliability, access and control.

Secure multi-factor authentication is one of the core key requirements for security. It is achieved by the use of RFC 6187 which specifies an extension to the SSH authentication protocol utilizing X.509 certificates. By combining with a CAC/smartcard and Pragma SSH Client, secure 2-factor authentication validates multiple credentials and allows the server to validate certificates and its' various identification attributes.

"Cisco has closely worked with Pragma on validating RFC 6187 support of Cisco SSH with PKI.  We are delighted to demonstrate at Cisco Live Pragma SSH client and Cisco enterprise routers providing an RFC 6187/FIPS compliant SSH solution with 2-factor authentication," says David Lapier, Product Line Manager for Cisco. "Federal agencies and enterprises needing higher security now have a smart-card based 2-factor solution to access Cisco devices."

"Pragma is very pleased that Cisco has chosen our SSH client to test and validate Cisco's RFC 6187 feature addition and interoperability," said David Kulwin, Pragma's Chief Technology Officer. "The 2-factor authentication solution of Cisco and Pragma brings a much needed, very secure access to the digital backbone where Cisco devices are widely deployed and Pragma SSH client can now be widely adopted for customers who want the tightest security."

Securing access to network infrastructure is paramount in today's cloud and digital networks. Use of digital certificates and multi-factor cards is preferred over password authentication. RFC 6187 provides an extension to SSH authentication for more effective use of X.509 certificates and use of OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) for stricter but faster validation of users seeking access to a device or network. For example, OCSP can quickly determine if a certificate has been revoked or has expired by use of its protocols in place of a large list of revoked certificate files that needed to be sent in the past. Pragma Fortress SSH client and SSH servers provide full RFC 6187 compliance, OCSP support, as well as full FIPS 140-2 certification.    

Pragma Fortress SSH client is the industry's first SSH client with RFC 6187 support for Cisco enterprise routers is available now.