Closing a security loophole: WatchGuard Asia-Pacific

"SMBs are now being targeted as a means to penetrate larger network ecosystems": APAC vice-president Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson, Vice President of Asia Pacific, WatchGuard Technologies.

Scott Robertson, Vice President of Asia Pacific, WatchGuard Technologies.

Business security solutions provider WatchGuard has launched the industry's first enterprise-level unified threat management (UTM) security appliance called Firebox T10, which helps to seal a 'loophole between the 'new' network perimeter when roaming employees link into corporate networks, it said.

In an earlier interview in Kuala Lumpur, WatchGuard Asia Pacific's vice-president Scott Robertson mentioned that the company's new Firebox T10 would be soon unveiled at the RSA Conference in San Francisco and that the appliance would allow enterprises to extend 'powerful network security to small office home office (SOHO) environments.'

"Organisations now face a loophole whereby the new network perimeter now sits at the home office and becomes the target for cyber-crimes," said Robertson. "As such, more and more small and medium businesses [SMBs] are now being targeted as a means to penetrate larger network ecosystems."

"To cyber criminals, size does not matter. Hence, the FireboxT10 will help companies of all sizes achieve better defenses without leaving large dents in their budgets nor complicated systems to handle," he said.

Frost & Sullivan senior analyst, Mike Jude, said, "It's no secret that attackers go for the weakest link when trying to get into a corporate network and this is often a home office or small office user. Yet, many organisations continue to rely on little or no security."

"The ability to leverage the power of a UTM solution, like the Firebox T10, in remote locations and manage them from a single, central console, gives IT a powerful tool for administering and enforcing policy," said Jude. "And, it gives them a clear understanding of what's happening across their network - sum total."

High-value employees working from home

According to a recent global WatchGuard survey of IT professionals, more than 82 per cent allow employees to access the corporate network from a small office or home office location, said WatchGuard's Robertson.

However, nearly 30 percent do not require a gateway security device. For those that do, only 23 percent require users to use security products similar to those used in the corporate headquarters, with features such as intrusion prevention, antivirus, data loss prevention, application control, antiSpam, and others.

In the same study, WatchGuard also found that 56 percent feel basic VPN [virtual private network] access provides the needed protection against today's SOHO threat landscape, said Robertson, adding that VPN access is not complete security.

"VPN access has long been the standard for protecting communications for home-based employees in Malaysia," he said. "However, if your endpoint device is not protected at the same level as your enterprise network, the VPN tunnel simply provides an open window into your business. You need to protect both, and the Firebox T10 is designed to make that easy and cost effective."

Designed for organisations of all sizes, Robertson said the FireboxT10's relevance for the Malaysian market, of which small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) made up 97.3 percent out of 662,939 establishments on record, and contributing some 32.5 percent to the country's gross domestic product [GDP].

The Firebox T10 features WatchGuard's cloud-based RapidDeploy capability, which instantly self-configures and begins reporting back to the administrator's central console by simply plugging in the appliance, he said.

Includes WatchGuard Dimension

Robertson said the Firebox T10 "delivers not only the same powerful UTM capabilities as the company's larger models, including the rapid deploy functionality, but it also features the company's new visibility solution, WatchGuard Dimension. This zero-install, cloud ready tool provides real-time security intelligence, and allows administrators to have big-data-style views of key threats and top site usage across an entire user base. Plus, WatchGuard UTM solutions feature full versions of the industry's best-of-breed technologies including: AntiSPAM, AntiVirus, and URL filtering."

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