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Executive Editor

Check Point acquires PC software audit firm, readies security appliance

Jan 06, 20042 mins
Check PointNetworking

* Check Point buys Zone Labs, to launch gear that protects internal devices

Check Point seems to be living up to the promises its chairman made in November when he outlined the company’s immediate future.

Gil Shwed, Check Point chairman and CEO, said the vendor would need to buy technology to meet its goals, and sure enough it has signed an agreement to buy Zone Labs, whose Integrity software audits PCs to ensure proper operating system patches, firewalls and anti-virus software are running. The data from the audit is sent to remote access gateways when the remote machine tries to log in to a VPN. If the remote machine fails the audit, the gateway denies access.

And this month Check Point will introduce a security appliance designed not to protect the perimeter of a network, as its firewall and VPN software do, but to protect internal devices. The devices are meant to fight the spread of viruses and worms within networks by keeping them confined to network segments before they have the chance to infiltrate the entire network.

This type of intrusion is common when employees have notebook computers that double as their desktops. They take them out of the building and may connect to the Internet without protection of a firewall, leaving them open to infection by viruses or worms that could attack others when the laptop is reconnected to the LAN.

Check Point plans to announce a family of these appliances later this month, and is not talking about them until then. But it is making the devices in conjunction with a partner that specializes in hardware appliances.

If these devices can be managed via Check Point’s SmartCenter software users will have a way to set perimeter as well as internal security policies on a single platform. Customers may choose to shop around for alternatives to the worm-fighting appliance from vendors such as Silicon Defense rather than buy into an all-Check Point defense.

Correction: In the last newsletter I stated that NetScreen is going to send sales people out to sell you products directly. Not so. The company is increasing its sales force, but that sales force will continue in its role of selling to VARs and resellers. NetScreen’s sales execs will visit corporate customers at the behest of the VARs and resellers to help explain and demonstrate products. Any sales that result are credited to the VARs and resellers. Sorry for the confusion.