Check Point merges security clients

Universal Agent helps simplify desktop configuration

Check Point is combining two of its separate desktop clients and adding antivirus software into a single security client that can help simplify the distribution and management of endpoints.

Called Check Point Universal Agent, the software combines Check Point's Secure Client VPN software with its Integrity desktop firewall and adds antivirus protection. The client also includes network access control (NAC) support by checking that the security client is present, that virus scans have been run recently done and that patches of operating systems and applications are up to date.

By mid-year, the company will add full disk encryption of data on desktops as well as encryption of data copied from desktops to removable media such as USB drives. Later this year the two platforms will be brought under the same management product - Smart Center - as Universal Agent so administrators have one not three consoles to deal with. In the meantime, the encryption options and management for them will be sold separately.

Check Point says that by integrating its various clients it is addressing the aversion customers have to adding yet another client to endpoints. Doing so creates more work for distributing and configuring the software at the outset and managing it and upgrading it over time.

The agent competes against offerings from McAfee, IBM, Symantec and others.

The Universal Agent is sold in two packages. Secure Access edition includes firewall, VPN, antivirus, antispyware, NAC and program control, which enables allowing or disallowing applications. Secure Access edition costs US$60 per seat for one user and US$30 per seat for 5,000 users.

Full Disk Encryption software costs US$120 for a single seat and US$60 for 5,000. Media Encryption costs US$45 for one seat and US$35 for 5,000.

A total security edition, including Secure Access, Full Disk and Media Encryption costs US$165 for one seat and US$85 for 5,000. Some of these platforms require accompanying service to update signatures and the service costs US$18 per seat per year for one machine and US$10 per seat per year for 5,000.

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