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3/4/2003
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ISS Wants To Do It All

The vendor maps plans to develop security appliances that will make it a one-stop shop for IT security.

Internet Security Systems Inc. wants to be the one-stop shop for IT security. At this week's RSA Conference, the intrusion-detection and prevention vendor took the wraps off its plans to develop security appliances that will provide richer capabilities, including a stateful packet filter firewall, VPN gateway, layer 7 application filters, denial-of-service protection, gateway antivirus, as well as spam and content filtering by year's end.

At the core of the line of network appliances, named Proventia, will be the company's existing RealSecure software. All of the appliances will share common management software and security event correlation.

The first Proventia appliances available, dubbed Proventia A, all will provide intrusion-prevention capabilities based of the company's RealSecure protection engine. The first A-series appliance, available now and priced at $9,995, offers a maximum aggregate bandwidth of 200 Mbps for one network segment. By June, the A-series will be rounded out with appliances that protect four network segments at a maximum aggregate bandwidth of 1,200 Mbps and will be priced at up to $52,995.

By the end of the third quarter, the company says it will make available an inline appliance that protects a single network segment, handles speeds up to 2,000 Mbps, and provides inline intrusion prevention, application stream security, and denial-of-service protection. By year's end, ISS says it will add more functions to its Proventia C series and include gateway antivirus protection, a VPN gateway, spam and content filtering, a DHCP server, and Network Address Translation. The C series will protect up to two network segments at a maximum aggregate bandwidth of 800 Mbps. The company didn't offer pricing for the B or C series Proventia applances.

A slew of companies already offer multipurpose security appliances, and have a jump on the company in their development of appliances, including Cisco, Crossbeam, NetContinuum, NetScreen, and Symantec, though each has a unique approach to the appliance security market. ISS hopes its large intrusion-detection installed base and its X-Force security research team will set it apart from its competitors.

"There's no question that they're late," says Eric Ogren, a senior analyst with the Yankee Group. "But they're not terminally late," says Ogren, who believes ISS can leverage its current customer base.

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