New Antivirus-Firewall Combo Protects XML Traffic

Forum Systems will integrate its XWall Web Services Firewall with Computer Associates' eTrust Antivirus software to fight viruses, worms, and other malware entering networks via XML, Soap, and attachments.
XML is becoming the great enabler for E-commerce. Years of proprietary and expensive connections between companies are being replaced by XML transactions over the Internet. But while companies use XML to exchange goods and currency at unprecedented rates, the information is at risk from virus attacks.

Two vendors on Monday will try to reduce such threats by combining antivirus software for XML with firewall protection at the edge of the network. Forum Systems Inc. will integrate Computer Associates' eTrust Antivirus software with its Forum XWall Web Services Firewall to fight viruses, worms, and other malware entering networks via XML, Simple Object Access Protocol, and attachments. The vendors hope to cut down on the threats that can damage IT infrastructure, degrade network performance, and hurt business apps that use XML as a standard data format.

The XWall firewall already has XML Intrusion Protection, WS-I Profile conformance, XML Schema Restriction, WSDL Access Control. It will include antivirus support. The new firewall filters and scans all XML traffic and Soap documents and their file attachments. CA's eTrust Security Adviser then sends antivirus signatures to the XWall. The new XML firewall is scheduled to ship May 1 and ranges in price from $5,000 to $40,000, depending on hardware and software configurations.

Many companies freely exchange unprotected and important data using XML, and they don't even use basic antivirus applications to protect it in the same way they use security software to scan E-mail, one analyst says. As more companies let business partners send information directly to their computer systems, says Andy Jaquith, an analyst at the Yankee Group, they "need to check and make sure it's not carrying anything harmful."

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