Authentication provider Vasco has expanded its aXs Guard product family, after upgrading two appliances for the SMB (small to medium business) sector.

Both the “aXs Guard Authentication Appliance” and “aXs Guard Internet Security Appliance” are based on Vasco’s core Vacman authentication platform, and feature a combination of hardware and software options. The new aXs Guard models will be able in the new year.

The Guard Authentication Appliance is designed to be a standalone Digipass authentication product. On the hardware side are various models of a 19-inch rack with a mountable “slim fit” (1U high) design.

The company says this appliance is ideally suited for SMBs that want to grant their remote users secure access to the company’s network “without having to hire an army of IT-engineers to install and maintain the system.”

Its software options include authentication for Radius clients, authentication for web filters, back-end authentication towards Radius Server, local ODBC database, and web-based administration.

Meanwhile the second product is Vasco’s aXs Guard Internet Security Appliance, which is a much more generic security appliance, giving companies of up to 1500 users “the ability to secure their Internet related applications.”

The Internet Security Appliance comes on a range of different hardware models and includes anti-virus protection, spam filtering, intrusion detection, remote connection and SSL-VPN.

“With aXs Guard, we tackle the rapidly expanding market of small and medium sized enterprises in need of secure Internet applications,” said Jan Valcke, president and COO, adding that smaller companies are just as vulnerable as large corporations to online fraud.

There is a non-direct route to market for these two products, and it should be noted that the upgrades will only be available from 1 January, 2008. The Authentication Appliance will be available via Vasco’s network of channel partners, while the Internet Security Appliance will be distributed by the company’s certified resellers.

Pricing details were not available, and Vasco did not return Techworld’s calls at the time this news was published.