Gauntlet settles down with Sidewinder owner

Secure Computing, known for its Sidewinder firewall products, has unveiled plans on how it will merge with its new customer base in Australia following the acquisition of Gauntlet, which was completed earlier this year.

Along with the acquisition of Gauntlet's virtual private network (VPN) and firewall business products from Network Associates, Secure Computing inherited 4000 new enterprise customers, 800 of which are based in Australia.

The company's local customer base has expanded to include the Defence Department, ANZ Bank, 90East and EDS, since the acquisition.

While Secure Computing was recognised in the US as the only endorsed firewall product for the National Security Agency (NSA) with clients such as the FBI, CIA and US Air Force, the company's Australia and New Zealand sales manager Eric Krieger said: "We didn't have the same pedigree here".

However, he said this has changed since acquiring the Gauntlet customer base in Australia and taking on the ambitious task of migrating local customers with ongoing services and support programs.

The two-phase plan includes the release of its next-generation firewalls later this year and to establish itself as the market leader in 'hybrid' firewalls.

"Most firewalls have only one security setting (medium), traditional packet filtering and no securely imbedded servers; hybrid firewalls have many levels of security settings from basic packet filtering to very strong application proxies," Krieger said.

"Hybrid firewalls can apply more complex data traffic policies than traditional ones and we will be able to address enterprise management issues with the launch of a firewall management server allowing hundreds of firewalls to be configured from a single server."

Part of the next-generation firewall/VPN vision includes hybrid high security firewall design with embedded antivirus and other innovations for handling denial of service attacks before they enter the network.

Secure Computing has only been in Australia six years; the company began after receiving funding from the NSA to develop a secure operating system that locked out all but registered administrators.

This gave birth to Sidewinder and Kreiger claims it is the only firewall with no known vulnerabilities and no patches have ever been released for the product.

From July 2000-2001 the company invited hackers to attack the product offering a $100,000 reward.

"There were more than 23,000 hacking attempts with zero success," he said.

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