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Tightened Security

Check Point helps Regal Cinemas manage its security tools

Hackers lurking around every corner and the incessant pounding of new security threats may seem the stuff of a feature film, but for Regal Cinemas Inc., a $1.13 billion chain of 350 theaters in 32 states, it's everyday life. Not a day goes by without some hacker or a hacker wannabe prodding the company's security, says Andrew Bagrin, manager of network planning.

That's why Bagrin has armed himself with firewalls, intrusion-detection systems, content-filtering software, and antivirus software. The paradox for him and others charged with IT security is that the more protection they use, the harder it is to manage security.

To maintain order, Bagrin turned to his firewall vendor, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., and its Open Platform For Security program. This multivendor security framework ensures that application vendors' software integrates with Check Point's security applications. To date, more than 300 vendors participate.

Open Platform For Security helps Bagrin more easily manage security tools, including intrusion-detection software from Internet Security Systems Inc. and antivirus software from Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd. "I control everything through the firewall," Bagrin says.

For instance, if the detection software notices a potential wrongdoer at a particular IP address, it will notify the firewall, which, in turn, shuts down that IP address for a period of time.

By combining capabilities in Novell Directory Services and the firewall, Bagrin has established a set of rules that specify user rights throughout the network. When a new employee joins the company, IT adds the user to a group in the directory services. "The group automatically has access to the virtual private network and a certain group of apps. It's seamless and automatic," he says. Considering the high turnover rate of theater managers, this is a key feature.

Check Point last week unveiled an initiative for its Open Platform For Security program to help companies integrate security assessment applications with VPNs and firewalls.

Pete Lindstrom, director of security strategies for Hurwitz Group, says the expansion, which will include vulnerability-assessment vendors, underscores the security industry's push toward proactive security. Says Lindstrom, "It's just like health care. It's more beneficial and cost effective to focus on prevention."

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