Websense, Sonicwall team on Net security

Enterprise users will soon be able to buy a single product both to manage their employees' Internet usage and to operate a network firewall, thanks to a new company alliance.

EIM (Employee Internet management) software maker Websense and Internet security-appliance vendor SonicWall are teaming up to join Websense's Enterprise v4.3 EIM software with SonicWall's line of firewall and VPN (virtual private network) appliances, the companies said in a joint statement.

While a number of existing EIM products can be used in conjunction with separate network firewalls and appliances, the planned cooperation should help business users to more seamlessly manage their networks, the statement said.

But one observer was skeptical about the advantages of the alliance.

"Yes, there is more pressure on tightening security around what people do on the Internet, but I wouldn't necessarily say that deals with conserving network bandwidth, which is one of the things Websense seems to be concerned with," said Charles Homs, a senior analyst with Forrester Research. "I don't think it's quite as hot a technology as they make it out to be."

Websense's software filters, monitors and reports on employees' Internet surfing habits in the workplace. SonicWall's appliances provide network-access security and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) transaction security, and are marketed to enterprise, electronic commerce, small and medium-sized business, education and government customers.

The new software-hardware combination will be available this quarter, the two companies said. Pricing information was not immediately available.

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