• United States
Executive Editor

ESoft heads for consolidated security

May 20, 20033 mins
Network SecurityNetworkingSecurity

* ESoft's latest software enables consolidation of security on a single platform

ESoft is adding more security options to its InstaGate family of VPN-firewall appliances, making the devices more suitable for business networks that want to consolidate security on a single platform.

The company is announcing this week two security application options called SoftPaks: one is a desktop antivirus platform and the other, an intrusion-detection and prevention software. It is also announcing an upgrade of its VPN manager and VPN client software.

The company already sold a SoftPak for network antivirus software that runs on its InstaGate hardware, but the latest antivirus SoftPak runs on Windows desktops to protect against viruses that might be picked up via Web browsing, file sharing or instant messaging. The software comes with periodic virus-signature updates that each desktop is configured to pull down periodically as determined by the user. The software is written by Sophos, which also developed the network antivirus SoftPak.

Customers buy the antivirus in bundles ranging from 10 one-year licenses to 2,000 one-year licenses that range in price from $600 to $26,000. Two- and three-year licenses are also available.

Intrusion Detection and Prevention SoftPak detects and blocks intrusions as they pass through the InstaGate. Once it detects an intrusion, it issues temporary firewall rules that block the suspected attack. Alternatively, it can send just an e-mail alarm about the attack or do both. The software also produces reports on the traffic that triggers an intrusion response.

Intrusion Detection and Prevention SoftPak licenses are available from 10-user bundles for $350 to 1,000-user bundles for $4,500. An unlimited license costs $6,000.

The upgraded VPN software is really a shift from ESoft’s former VPN offering, which was a VPN service via a portal supported by service provider eTunnels. This software runs on InstaGate machines and is managed via software that also runs on one Instagate machine in a network as opposed to running on a separate server.

VPN Manager SoftPak manages site-to-site VPN connections between Instagate machines. It also configures individual remote VPN client software to enable a remote PC to connect with more than one InstaGate. The VPN clients, made by SafeNet, come with management software that enables updating remote clients, but not reconfiguring them remotely. VPN Manager is needed for that. The new software can also handle dynamic IP addresses in addition to static ones.

VPN Manager SoftPak is sold per InstaGate that it manages. The range is from $1,000 for two to five Instagates to $10,000 for 100. VPN Client SoftPak costs $100 for one client, with decreasing per-client costs as the number of clients goes up. The biggest package costs $150,000 for 2,000 clients.

All the new products are available now.

The downside of putting all security on one platform is it becomes a single point of failure and that it doesn’t allow customers the option of buying whatever they consider to be best-of-breed options. But customers for whom the convenience of a single, interoperable system overrides the downside, the platform might be worth considering.

Correction: In last week’s newsletter headlined “Check Point probes deeper to protect enterprise nets” the full name of Check Point’s latest software is Next Generation with Application Intelligence (NGAI).