FineGround Networks says it can now add another layer of protection to mission-critical applications while accelerating the delivery to end users.FineGround Enterprise Application Delivery Suite includes several applications, the latest of which - the AppScreen Web Application Firewall - provides an extra level of security from hackers and worms, the company says. The firewall allows network managers to set policies that would prevent a hacker or an unwitting user from downloading materials that could cause a vulnerability to the infrastructure or applications."The firewall is designed to sit in front of an application and watch for things like targeted hacking or people trying to access customer data," says Jay Mellman, vice president of marketing at FineGround. "AppScreen lets users write simple policies and compare actions against rules."AppScreen is able to inspect application requests based on seven predefined attributes and can enforce policies for Web applications, he says. That means AppScreen will lock down a user requesting content that is unauthorized, at least until a network manager investigates the request and determines if that user needs access or should be permanently blocked.The Velocity appliance can be installed at the edge of a data center in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) off of a standard load balancer. The data monitored and collected by the appliance is delivered back to the Web infrastructure or to end users.FineGround provides a Web interface as part of the management console, which can run on the appliance or run on a server as a separate application. The data collected is stored in a local database on the appliance and can be extracted or output through Crystal Reports.AppScreen will be made available both as software only and as a package with FineGround's 1U rack-mount Velocity appliance. The software-only option will be available for Linux and Solaris. AppScreen pricing starts at $20,000, and it should be generally available in October.The software comes integrated with the Application Delivery Suite, which starts at about $15,000 and goes up depending on applications included.