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2/5/2007
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Check Point, TippingPoint Tout New Security Appliances

As the RSA Conference gets under way, the vendors unveiled appliances to help companies keep their networks free of malware.

On the eve of RSA, a pair of security vendors unveiled new security appliances to help companies keep their networks free of malware.

Check Point Software Technologies Monday unveiled a new line of UTM appliances from its December acquisition of IPS vendor NFR Security.

In addition to typical UTM features like firewall, IPSec VPN, gateway antivirus and antispyware, and intrusion prevention, Check Point's new UTM-1 appliance line extends the security umbrella to cover VoIP, instant messaging, and peer to peer traffic, said Laura Yecies, vice president at Check Point and general manager of ZoneAlarm.

Last May, Israel-based Check Point added UTM to its VPN-1 software line. Part of the reasoning behind the vendor's $20 million acquisition of NFR was to offer a hardware based UTM appliance that's managed through a central interface, said Yecies.

Robert Koran, vice president at Mark Enterprises, an El Segundo, Calif.-based solution provider, expects the UTM-1 product line to have broad appeal.

"You're going to be surprised by the attraction these appliances will have. I think even larger companies will be interested, considering that they have a lot more remote and branch offices, which is where this box will fit nicely," Koran said.

Putting management and enforcement together on a single box is a key addition that replaces the typical scenario, in which management is on a second box and enforcement point is on a server, Koran added.

Check Point's UTM-1 appliances come in three models: the UTM-1 450, UTM-1 1050, and UTM-1 2050. At the high end, throughput speeds are around 2 gigabits per second and can support up to 2 million concurrent users. Pricing, which includes unlimited users for all models, begins at $7,500.

Meanwhile, TippingPoint jumped into the network access control space with an offering that leverages the Austin, Texas-based division of 3Com's background as a purveyor of intrusion prevention technology.

TippingPoint NAC, which is priced starting at $14,990 for a policy server and a policy enforcer, interoperates with its IPS to perform ongoing security checks after a user has been granted access to the network, said Neal Hartsell, vice president of marketing.

Using IPS data, TippingPoint NAC can identify suspicious traffic patterns that could indicate that a user's machine has been infected. For example, TippingPoint NAC can detect malicious traffic coming from a VoIP connection and then block or quarantine it depending on policy, Hartsell said.

"Once you're on the network, we watch your flow, and if we see an unexpected protocol coming from a device, we can quarantine the endpoint, knock it off the network, or restrict the user's rights on the network. That's where the fine grained IPS comes in," said Hartsell.

TippingPoint NAC can handle enforcement in-line or through alternative policy enforcement methods such as DHCP and 802.1x, Hartsell added.

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