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Clamp A Lock On Data

Startup rolls out line of security blades to protect and monitor server data.
Can the digital equivalent of a padlock protect data on a server? Startup 14 South Networks Inc. last week introduced its IntraLock line of IT security blades that 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 can be used against external threats. 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 can also 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. IntraLock blades, available in four models, can also perform VPN termination and stateful packet inspection without using host server resources. The IntraLock blades are priced between $995 and $3,995.

John Dunkle is president of IT analyst firm Workgroup Strategic Services and head of Rennlist.com, an automobile-enthusiast Web site that's testing seven IntraLock blades to help secure its database of more than 150,000 subscriber E-mail addresses and user preferences. He likes IntraLock blades because they combine two types of security. "To this point, there hasn't been a technically elegant way of doing this using hardware and software," he says.

"IntraLock offloads the processor, controls who can connect, and what they can do," says Eric Ogren, a senior Yankee Group analyst. "I don't see anyone else offering a security blade like 14 South."

The vendor faces challenges because it's a startup, 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.