Security Appliances Of Every Flavour For 2003

Security appliances of all different flavours filled the exhibit floor at last week's Infosecurity show in New York City, evidence of the continuing IT trend toward moving all manner of functions to dedicated hardware devices.

While industry stalwarts such as Cisco Systems Inc. were on hand to show off a wide array of firewall and VPN (virtual private network) appliances, they were increasingly crowded by a slew of smaller companies and startups pushing their own devices for companies large and small.

Among the more prominent of the dedicated appliance vendors were CyberGuard and Array Networks.

CyberGuard was displaying new versions of its security appliances and announced it was broadening its line of products with two appliances designed for small enterprises, the FS250 and FS500, two models for large enterprises, the KS1000 and KS1500, and a high-end model, the SL2000.

CyberGuard also announced enhancements to its underlying firewall product, with new features including PKI (public key infrastructure) certificate management, VPN (virtual private network) acceleration and protection against denial-of-service attacks and spam.

Array Networks showed off its line of appliances, including a new device designed for the emerging domestic national security market, the Array SR (Security Reconnaissance).

Capable of performing wire-speed network traffic analysis, the Array SR captures incoming and outgoing data packets and decodes them, even reassembling entire HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) or image files for inspection. The new device will allow companies and government agencies to dynamically inspect incoming and outgoing e-mail, instant message, TCP/IP and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) traffic, according to Array.

The company's other hardware appliances, the Array SP (Security Proxy) and Array TM (Traffic Manager), allow small businesses and enterprises to perform a variety of functions, from securing Web applications to performing server load balancing, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) acceleration, and clustering.

For small and medium-sized enterprises, companies such as SnapGear and eSoft. displayed products to securely and affordably link remote offices and protect against outside attacks.

SnapGear's SME530 VPN and firewall device starts at $US349 and offers VPN throughput of about 5M bits per second, allowing remote workers and offices to securely connect to each other. The SME550 appliances offer 10M bits per second of throughput and sell for $US499, according to SnapGear.

ESoft, a recent entry into the security appliance space, displayed its InstaGate product, a VPN and firewall appliance designed for companies with between 25 and 2000 employees.

Designed as a simplified and extensible platform, eSoft's InstaGate device allows network administrators to add features such as antivirus, site filtering, and spam filtering as downloadable software updates, called SoftPaks, rather than buying separate devices to handle those tasks.

InstaGate's antivirus SoftPak is provided by Sophos PLC. Other SoftPaks were developed internally, according to eSoft.

InstaGate ranges in price from $US949 for a package with ten licenses to $US2399 for a package with 100 licenses, according to the company.

Also at the Infosecurity show:

Network Intelligence Inc. announced an appliance-based log capture device called LogSmart.

IntruVert Networks displayed its IntruShield security management and intrusion detection appliances. The IntruShield 2600 and IntruShield 4000 intrusion detection sensor appliances enable companies to stop attacks in progress and deploy real-time signature updates and traffic analysis.

ShopIP Security Solutions displayed its CrunchBox 3.1 security system. Consisting of a packet filtering firewall, intrusion prevention and an automatic response module, the device is built on an OpenBSD operating system and is being promoted as "uncrackable."

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