Newcomer 14 South's security blades are designed to protect IT systems and intranets from internal attacks, and can serve as a line of defense against outsiders, too.

Larry Greenemeier, Contributor

March 4, 2003

2 Min Read

In a move to secure data at its source with the digital equivalent of a car wheel boot, upstart 14 South Networks Inc. on Monday introduced its IntraLock line of IT security blades. IntraLock blades plug into a server's PCI interface to become a gatekeeper for data entering or leaving that server.

IntraLock blades are designed primarily to protect IT systems and intranets from internal attacks, although they also can be used as a line of defense against outsiders. The blades use a combination of hardware and software from Check Point Software Technologies, SurfControl, and Symantec to validate that a server should be receiving requests from the user making the request, that the type of traffic attempting to come into the server is consistent with what the server expects, and that the packets coming in don't contain inconsistencies common to worms.

The blades also can protect the rest of the network if an attack is launched from the server it's connected to and keeps server data from being sent to unauthorized recipients, says Sterling Wharton, president and CEO of 14 South. IntraLock blades, with the exception of the entry-level IntraLock 1, also perform VPN termination and stateful packet inspection without using resources from the host server.

Automobile-enthusiast Web site is testing seven IntraLock blades to help secure its database of more than 150,000 subscriber E-mail addresses and user preferences. IntraLock blades offer the combined assets of hardware and software security, says John Dunkle, president of both and IT analyst firm Workgroup Strategic Services.

Most data tampering is done internally as a result of users trying to overextend their privileges or through more malicious hacking techniques, Dunkle says. While large companies are looking at security both internally and outside their systems, "to this point, there hasn't been a technically elegant way of doing this using hardware and software." Hardware devices placed within the network are difficult to upgrade once they're installed and don't evolve with new threats, he says. Host-based software security lets the user into the system so it can verify user name and password information.

The IntraLock product line includes four devices, with IntraLock 1 priced starting at $2,495. The high-end IntraLock 30 starts at $3,995.

The greatest challenge that 14 South faces is being a startup in the security market, Dunkle says. "They're offering a unique product, which works for and against them." The company's financial backing from IBM will help, as will its partnership with Check Point.

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