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VM Lab launches Pluggable Internet Security Assistant (PISA)

  • 21 May, 2004 12:12

<p>Sydney, May 21 2004 -- Virtual Machine Laboratories today announced the availability of Pluggable Internet Security Assistant (PISA) solutions designed to shield corporate local area networks from vulnerabilities arising from staff Internet usages.</p>
<p>Compared to their pre-Internet counterparts, today's corporate local area networks (LAN) are infinitely more vulnerable as desktops are surf, download and email enabled. Mainstream Internet security solutions deployed today mostly rely on anti-virus software, firewall, web and email content filters to regulate the traffic.</p>
<p>These popular solutions are far from perfect and enterprises are still suffering from recurring nightmares of outbreaks.</p>
<p>Flaw #1:
Typically, these solutions make no attempts to move any of the dangerous Internet traffic off the LAN. It is reminiscent of housing a bomb factory and a childcare centre in the same building [PC].</p>
<p>Flaw #2:
Putting aside the patch management fiasco, keep vaccinating oneself with yesterday's formulae with active ongoing exposures to tomorrow's disease carriers is no better than wandering blindfolded in a sparse minefield in real world disease control terms. No wonder organizations of all sizes are living in the constant fear of falling victims to the next big thing - be it a virus, worm or Trojan.</p>
<p>Many IT managers have come to terms with these limitations. Unfortunately, these critical flaws or time bombs have help propel many organizations to the newspaper headlines for all the wrong reasons.</p>
<p>Convinced that there is nothing that can be done about these security holes? Think again. With pluggable solutions like PISA filling the gaps, IT managers no longer have excuses to ignore those fatal flaws any more.</p>
<p>PISA delivers by moving all net browsing activities [the bomb factory] off your LAN into a virtual terminal server (TS) [farm] located in the DMZ. If the next outbreak or staff oversights caused the TS server to blow up, the LAN being on the protected side of the firewall should remain safe. PISA capitalizes on the fact that isolation is a much more effective infection control strategy against both unknown and future viruses than constant vaccinations. Most importantly, isolation as a disease control measure offers near guaranteed protection despite its low-tech image.</p>
<p>Conceptually, PISA involves switching off the Internet connection to the LAN, restricting the surfing and download activities to a virtual terminal server environment which is itself isolated from the LAN by a customer nominated firewall. To access the Internet, staff uses the LAN desktop as thin-client to connect to the TS server.</p>
<p>Many believe there will never be a fix for the yesterday vaccination syndrome (Flaw#2). Indeed, a connected desktop will never be safe from [future] attacks. To neutralize this threat, PISA turns to virtualization technology to boot and run the desktops from read-only media -- which is completely hack-proof and virus-proof by nature.</p>
<p>PISA also excels in the difficult task of recovering from security breaches. No doubt, the TS server could become infected or compromised. However, with the malwares contained, the impacts and recovery efforts are minimal. For instance, to fully recover a compromised TS server, all that is required is to shut it down. As the TS server is just a virtual machine running from read-only media, any infections will be effortlessly eradicated or undone 100% upon the shutdown. Next, update the virtual machine image with the latest OS and anti-virus patches. Reboot the TS server and that's it!</p>
<p>If your organization can no longer keep up with security solutions which demand round-the-clock Windows patching and which rely on all Internet users doing the right things all the time, take a closer look at PISA. In term of ease of deployment, PISA can be plugged into most existing networks with little disruptions as it was designed to be a pluggable solution.</p>
<p>In summary, Pluggable Internet Security Assistant (PISA) offers innovative fixes for some of the most notorious holes in today's enterprise Internet security solutions. Firstly, it provides near guaranteed infection control through best-practice network partitioning and the use of thin client technologies. Secondly, it implements virus-proof and hack-proof virtualized desktops by running them from read-only media.</p>
<p>Why should I even bother? In the uncertain world of Internet security, PISA puts the control back to you with some certainty.</p>
<p>Coincidentally, PISA can also be configured to serve as a virtual staff Internet Café. Staffs will need to be informed that they are now effectively surfing the net in a public area [with screen activities visible to bystanders] to avoid privacy issues. Inappropriate and unproductive net surfing activities will practically disappear overnight without the use of un-enforceable policies and costly filtering softwares.</p>
<p>PISA is available now as an in-a-box solution to the small business market or as a set of professional services for larger enterprises. Affordable proof-of-concept type packages are also available.</p>
<p>About Virtual Machine Laboratories</p>
<p>Virtual Machine Laboratories (VM Lab), a subsidiary of Audisoft Pty Limited, is Australia's pioneering virtual machine solutions provider. Clients use VM Lab solutions to realize business benefits made possible by the deployment of virtual machine technologies from leading vendors such as VMware and Microsoft. The company is based in Sydney, Australia.</p>
<p>For further information, please contact Timothy Au on (02) 9570 8789 or visit www.vmlab.com.au.</p>
<p>All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>

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