Security suppliers unveil latest offerings

Security suppliers are gearing up to offer centrally managed products to enterprise customers, who are increasingly eschewing the...

Security suppliers are gearing up to offer centrally managed products to enterprise customers, who are increasingly eschewing the standalone approach.

Network Associates and Internet Security Systems (ISS) have outlined strategies and product road maps which consolidate many security functions - such as antivirus protection, intrusion detection and firewalls - into single products.

Network Associates will announce a strategy for fusing system and network security into a singular security platform this week.

The company aims to reduce the number of software agents required, and has begun to combine the functions of McAfee VirusScan, Personal Firewall, and its latest Entercept Desktop product.

According to Ryan McGee, director of McAfee Security product marketing at Network Associates, combining the functions will take approximately 18 months, and when complete, a single software platform will be capable of performing all the functions that once were handled by three discrete software packages.

"Customers have lots of things to deploy today to get secure," McGee said. "We're going to solve some of it by combining three McAfee products."

Entercept Desktop is Network Associates' first iteration of IPS (intrusion prevention software) gained when the company acquired Entercept Security Technologies in April.

ISS is also looking to deliver a single solution to its customers. The company this week unveiled Proventia, an appliance which unifies firewall, VPN antivirus, and intrusion detection functions.

"Standalone products cost a lot and are not solving many problems," said Tom Noonan, chairman, president and chief exectutive officer of ISS. "We've developed a unified protection engine."

Noonan pointed out Proventia is not five or six systems on the same box but rather a single engine that does "deep, stateful packet filtering and inspection". He explained the product is different from Fortinet's FortiGate family which, he said, requires five separate engines to perform the functions Proventia does with one.

"This product eliminates the need to correlate logs," Noonan added. "We open a packet once and analyse it for everything, close it, and route it along."

ISS and Network Associates both see the importance of a single management console. Proventia is managed by the company's centralised management system, SiteProtector.

As part of its protection-in-depth strategy, Network Associates is also consolidating its management schemes. McGee said the company recognises customers are also struggling to manage multiple-management frameworks.

"The management console burden is getting heavy," McGee said. "Maintaining servers for management systems is tough."

Scott Tyler Shafer writes for Infoworld

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