Appliances Target Security

Securing electronic business at a lower cost is the aim of a collection of integrated software and hardware appliances announced last week by Network Associates Inc. in Santa Clara, California.

The WebShield E-ppliance collection of products offers Web-enabled, remotely manageable versions of the company's antivirus, firewall and virtual private network (VPN) software in the form of plug-and-play hardware appliances. The E-appliance line was unveiled at a keynote session at the Networld/Interop '99 conference in Atlanta.

E-ppliance sits between the local network and the Internet service provider connection to monitor traffic before it reaches the servers. According to the company, E-appliance products have achieved scalability that's often lacking in appliances and offers greater ease of use and setup than current configurations. Unlike other appliances that integrate Web and e-mail servers, E-ppliance focuses strictly on security. Network Associates also claims that it's the first appliance that protects against computer viruses.

Appliance technology promises that information technology managers will be able to secure networks more cheaply, easily and with reduced ongoing service and support. Network Associates said its E-appliances will build on the company's Active Security Strategy, which integrates its existing security products to work together through a central event manager.

WebShield E-ppliances for Solaris and Windows NT platforms will be available by year's end. They will include the WebShield 100 E-ppliance for antivirus scanning and the WebShield 300 E-ppliance, which integrates McAfee antivirus, Pretty Good Privacy VPN and Gauntlet firewalls. Pricing will be announced upon shipment.

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