Looking to augment its firewall products with enhanced capabilities to stop worms and other Internet attacks, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. announced its new SmartDefense product Thursday. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Check Point Experience user conference being held in Anaheim, California.
SmartDefense is a combination of a software product and a realtime intelligence service that will offer administrators fast access to information about emerging threats, said Raphael Reich, product marketing manager at the Redwood City, California, company.
The product will go into beta testing next week and will ship in the third quarter, he said. The enhanced detection and security components of the product will be incorporated into all Check Point security products for free, but the intelligence service will be sold on a subscription basis, he said.
SmartDefense will give administrators a single place from which to gather information about known and emerging attacks, configure their firewalls to defend against those attacks, and more, Reich said. The SmartDefense application will allow administrators to block specific attacks and will also offer a window in which updated information about new attacks will be presented, he said. That information will be drawn from various public sources online and will include links to other sites that provide additional information about the attacks, he said.
The new offering will be "truly complementary to the firewall," as well as to antivirus software and intrusion detection systems, as it will help administrators present a unified security posture against attacks and will allow them to configure their firewalls to block specific attacks, said Greg Smith, director of product marketing at Check Point.
In order for Check Point to be able quickly offer detection of new threats, they will need to employ a staff of researchers, much like the ones employed by antivirus companies, said Anil Phull, senior analyst at the Yankee Group. Antivirus companies employ tens or hundreds of people worldwide to detect new threats and it is "not clearly defined in (Check Point's) announcement" that the company has such an organization in place, he said.
Check Point's Smith said the company would be creating such a team, but declined to provide more detail about it.
Despite the unanswered questions, SmartDefense "might be a way to enhance the product into a really, really intelligent firewall," Phull said.
The intelligence service aspect of the announcement is perhaps the most exciting aspect and is likely to be the most well-received by Check Point customers, Phull said. Administrators using Check Point software are interested in receiving this sort of realtime threat information and Check Point is attempting to meet that demand, he said.
Subscriptions to the SmartDefense intelligence service will cost US$1,000 per gateway per year or $10,000 per year for up to 100 gateways, Check Point's Reich said.