ISS Plans Multi-Purpose Security Appliance

With network security high atop every IT department’s checklist,
Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems plans to roll
out a multi-purpose security appliance that promises to untangle the mess of
securing all layers of an enterprise network.

The ISS plan for a series of security
appliances, codenamed ‘Proventia’, is aimed at eliminating the need for
standalone firewalls and gateway anti-virus software and replace them with
an all-in-one system offering richer security capabilities.

The first VCR-sized appliance — Proventia A — will offer a maximum aggregate bandwidth of
200 Mbps for one network segment and will integrate firewall filters, VPN
gateway, layer 7 application filters, DoS protection and gateway antivirus
software into a single device.

By year’s end, the A-Series appliance will include spam and content
filtering, ISS said.

“This series is designed to eliminate the need for managing and
maintaining such technologies in multiple standalone forms,” the company
said of Proventia-A, which starts at $9,995. Later this year, the plan is
to ramp up the ISS appliances to protect up to four network segments at a
maximum aggregate bandwidth of 1,200 Mbps. Those appliances will go for
about $53,000.

ISS, which competes with Network Associates , RSA
Security and Symantec in the
enterprise security space, said the appliances will be powered by its
existing RealSecure software and will share a common management and security
event correlation.

The Proventia-A Series are being marketed as appliances that will
proactively stop threats through advanced technology that detects, prevents
and responds to both known and unknown threats. Specifically, the ISS said
the appliances can identify both known and unknown attacks. It has been
designed to identify and block attack scenarios that circumvent existing
firewalls and prevent attacks with TCP resets.

The ISS Proventia A Series includes four appliance models and offers
protection up to 1200 Mbps aggregate bandwidth on up to four network
segments, including options for 10/100/1000 Mbps copper and 1 Gbps fiber
network access, the company said.

Down the line, ISS said the Proventia-C series will include upgrades like
gateway antivirus protection, a VPN gateway, a DHCP server, Network Address
Translation and spam/content filtering capabilities.

While ISS is not the first network security vendor to offer all-in-one
appliances — Symantec and NetContinuum and Cisco already sell multi-purpose
devices — the company’s advantage is that it has an expansive IT clientele
to market the Proventia series.

“Proventia appliances are intended to give customers a single point of
protection to prevent all forms of attack, eliminating the need for
standalone firewalls, gateway anti-virus and other traditional point
technologies that alone fail to provide complete protection against today’s
complex threats,” ISS CEO Tom Noonan said.

Highlighting research from IDC which shows that roughly 80 percent of all
enterprise security products will be delivered via appliances, the ISS plans
to use the customer base from its X-Force research unit to push marketing
efforts.

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