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Network-1 Offers Centralized Policy Control For Distributed Firewalls

Network-1 Offers Centralized Policy Control For Distributed Firewalls
July 23, 2002

Network-1 Security Solutions on Monday announced a new version of its CyberwallPLUS firewall software that provides for centralized control over configuration and policy for firewalls installed on remote and mobile computers.

Also new in CyberwallPLUS version 7.3 is improved facilities for downloading policy updates and improved event reporting facilities.

The enhancements are intended to help customers extend security to the network end points, says Rich Kosinski, CEO of Network-1, based in Waltham, Mass. "Think of it as logically extending the security perimeter," he says. Virtual private networks have proven to be insufficient in this regard. For example, hackers can compromise a user's home PC via an unprotected Internet connection, then later use its VPN connection to tap into a corporate network.

CyberwallPLUS 7.3 now supports a graphical, drag and drop policy management tool that enables enterprise users to establish fine-grained security policy at the user and group levels. Policy updates can then be pushed out to thousands of distributed firewalls, with little to no user intervention, Kosinski says.

There are a number of options for distributing the policy updates. Administrators can send users an email with a URL where users can download the udpate, or use a facility such as Microsoft's SMS to automatically push the updates out to distributed end points.

A third alternative is to use the CyberwallPLUS policy pull feature. Each time a user logs on to the network, the firewall software checks a central policy database to ensure the user has the most current policy configuration.

Also new in version 7.3 is a crop of new event logging and reporting options. A new SNMP facility enables alerts to be sent to enterprise management systems such as Hewlett-Packard's OpenView. Users can also choose among multiple alert methods depending on the type of event, such as using a pager for the most serious threats. A new central collection facility gathers events from multiple distributed logs and filters them based on predefined rules, making it easier for enterprises to prioritize events.

CyberwallPLUS 7.3 Workstation Edition costs $100, or $43 per seat in a 1,000-seat deployment. CyberwallPLUS Server Edition costs $1,295 per server and the Central Manager GUI costs $895.

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