Juniper multifunction devices give customers choice of antispam, antivirus

* Juniper provides flexible options for security box

Juniper is adding more feature options to its multifunction security platforms, making them flexible gateways for branch offices in large corporate deployments.

The SSG devices, introduced earlier this year, come standard with firewall and VPN capabilities and can support antivirus and antispam as add-ons at an extra cost (when the product was introduced Juniper promised the antivirus and antispam support would be provided by year-end).

The antivirus and antispam features are provided through partnerships with Kaspersky for virus screening and Symantec for spam filtering.

The devices already supported Web filtering software from Surf Control. The firewall, VPN and intrusion detection features are homegrown Juniper software.

This model of multifunction platforms, also known as unified threat management (UTM) devices, is probably the best option. Rather than a box with a bunch of features an individual customer may or may not want, this device can be outfitted with just the capabilities the customer needs. So if the customer already has a spam filter that meets business requirements, there is no need to pay for spam filter capabilities on the SSG, for example.

Or if customers prefer a particular software vendor other than the one Juniper has chosen for a particular function, then they can buy a separate platform.

Along with the new security capabilities, the SSG is being updated to support a portal that can redirect users to a server that can download a software agent to devices attempting to access the network. The agent scans the machine logging on and makes sure it meets security policies.

The new software also supports policy-based routing so that designated traffic can be routed, for instance, to a low latency path, as might be the desired choice for VoIP traffic.

SSG appliances are sold with firewall and VPN capabilities for a flat fee, and other security software costs extra via license fees. For example, the SSG 520 with all options turned on costs $6,500 for the base hardware and software plus $3,780 for the additional software licenses for one year.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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