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Web application firewalls suppliers Teros and NetContinuum are both releasing products that support XML- and web services-based applications.

Both companies are entering a new market for web services protection, which is already crowded with startups such as DataPower Technology, Forum Systems, Reactivity and WestBridge Technology.

Greg Smith, senior director of product marketing at Teros, said customers are, increasingly, deploying web services and are asking for ways to protect these early instantiations.

"We think this market is underserved," Smith added. "This is a space we intend to lead."

Smith said the new functionality for XML-intensive applications is designed to help enterprises that have already deployed a web service application, adding that the features are meant to meet the "real-world problems" customers face in securing web services, and that next quarter the company will deepen its web services protection with support for WS Security, SAML, and XML encryption.

The inline gateway appliance learns the behaviour of applications, then provides recommended security controls to tighten the inputs of the application, Smith said.

NetContinuum also has been adding support for web services with each new release of its NC-1000 Web Security Gateway.

"We're not seeing many core applications with XML yet, but application development trends are moving that way," said Wes Wasson, vice president of marketing at NetContinuum.

He pointed to development tools and platforms that are building web services hooks into its products, which is speeding the creation of web services-based applications.

Richard Stiennon, vice president of research at Gartner, said most customers are ready to deploy web services applications, but do not yet require the depth of protection that companies such as DataPower provide.

Scott Tyler Shafer writes for InfoWorld

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