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Symantec unveils new security appliances
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 06:22:45 -0500 (CDT)


By Robert Lemos
Special to CNET News.com 
October 8, 2001, 12:10 p.m. PT 

Security software maker Symantec announced Monday a new line of
drop-in network appliances to protect companies against Internet
attackers and to secure communications between offices.

Known as the Symantec Firewall/VPN Appliances, the three new products
allow companies to add baseline security to their branch offices and
encrypt all data between the company and small-office networks
connecting through a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN uses
encryption to securely connect two private networks over the Internet.
The technology is more secure than a dial-up connection and cheaper
than buying a dedicated communications line.

"There are many smaller businesses that are becoming more and more
dependent on the Internet," said Barry Cioe, director of product
management for Symantec's firewall and virtual private-networking
products. "They are realizing that, with the number of hacks on the
Internet, not only is their data vulnerable, but they can be used as a
jumping off point for other attacks."

The three new security appliances are designed to spearhead Symantec's
attack on the small-office and branch-office security market.

Each appliance has a "stateful" firewall that can detect network
attacks that use several pieces of data to compromise a computer, the
ability to establish an encrypted connection between two gateways, and
intrusion detection features. An analog modem port also allows the
devices to use a dial-up connection in the event that the broadband
network goes down.

The appliances have some limited intrusion detection abilities,
matching data signatures against a list of known exploit codes used by
hackers to compromise machines. While the current list is
semipermanently fixed in the product, future models will allow a more
easily modifiable list, Cioe said.

The Symantec Firewall/VPN 100 is aimed at small corporate branch
offices with a single connection to the Internet and an integrated
four-port switch for the local network. The Symantec Firewall/VPN 200
adds reliability with a second connection to the Internet and eight
switched ports to connect for local PCs and servers.

For small offices, the Symantec Firewall/VPN 200-R adds the ability
for clients to connect directly to the gateway using Symantec's
virtual private-networking software.

Cioe said that the product fills a niche that low-end router companies
have not moved into and that high-end security appliance companies
have ignored.

"When we went out to put this together, we talked to customers to find
out what needs were not being met," he said. "There are a lot of
home-office products out there, routers with some security or a
firewall, but they didn't have business features."

List prices on the Symantec Firewall/VPN 100, 200 and 200-R are $499,
$899 and $1,199 respectively.

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