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RealTime IT News

Prodigy Bundles Broadband Security With DSL Service

Prodigy Communications Corp. Tuesday took definitive steps toward increasing its digital subscriber line users ability to thwart e-mail viruses and unauthorized intrusive attacks.

The national Internet service provider struck a deal with Zone Labs Inc. to provide its flagship ZoneAlarm personal Internet security utility to Prodigy's broadband subscribers.

Zone Labs is developing a pre-configured, downloadable version of its proprietary security software for Prodigy members. Both companies plan to extend their working relationship by rolling out managed security services later this year.

Susan Sachatello, Prodigy Internet general manager, said its first major ISP to take a pro-active approach toward providing broadband security solutions and education for members.

"We take online security seriously and we have an opportunity with ZoneAlarm to provide all our members with an easy, integrated, downloadable solution," Sachatello said. "DSL customers will have the solution bundled directly with their service."

At the end of the month current Prodigy dial-up and DSL subscribers can download the ZoneAlarm-built Prodigy firewall for free. New subscribers to Prodigy DSL will be provided with an automatic option for the firewall with their service.

Prodigy and Zone Labs plan to produce an online security educational program for consumers that will provide online facts and figures about computer safety at their respective Web sites.

According to Current Analysis Inc., one in 10 high-speed Internet users will experience an e-mail virus or be victimized in a hacker attack.

Its research indicates that the longer a computer is online, the more vulnerable it is to break in attempts. Because broadband's primary benefit is an "always-on" connection, subscribers using high-speed connections to the Internet are at greater risk hat average Internet users, and are subject to more frequent attack attempts on home systems.

Gregor Freund, Zone Labs president, said Internet users deserve peace of mind about their Internet-connected personal computers.

"Important information is stored on those PCs," Freund said. "Broadband security will spur even greater growth in the residential broadband market, and we're happy to work together with Prodigy to make that a reality."

Freund added that unlike other security utilities, ZoneAlarm makes Internet security accessible for all types of users.

"ZoneAlarm automatically configures itself while it protects a user's PC by repelling attempted intrusions," Freund said. "By using ZoneAlarm, users take total control over how their computers use the Internet making it virtually impossible for hackers to access their personal and confidential information over the Internet without their knowledge."