NetScreen Casts a Wide Net
Yesterday the company announced the availability of four new high-speed integrated security appliances, as well as an upgraded version of its ScreenOS software (see NetScreen Enhances Security Offering). Netscreen recently completed a successful initial public offering (see NetScreen's Screaming IPO).
The new products not only protect networks from more traditional, external attacks, such as from Internet-viruses and hackers, but also take aim at securing networks from internal threats, like worms, Trojan horses, and disgruntled employees. With its new product line, NetScreen also addresses the threat from unauthorized wireless users.
“From the industry perspective, NetScreen is filling in its portfolio of hardware products,” says industry analyst Matthew Kovar of Yankee Group. “They started off with the high-end products, and then went all the way to the lower end, and now they’re filling in the gaps in between.” This, he says, means that NetScreen can expect a broad variety of enterprise customers that are looking for the luxury of getting all their hardware from the same vendor.
“You can get the platform from Check Point, but you still have to go through some of the partners,” Kovar continues. “It’s definitely cleaner going with NetScreen, with its consistent platform across all the devices.”
The company is targeting both service providers and enterprise users with its new products. The NetScreen-200 Series -- featuring the NetScreen-208 box with eight Ethernet ports and the NetScreen-204 box with four ports -- is designed to meet the security needs of medium to large enterprises and service providers; the NetScreen-25 and the NetScreen-50 were developed for small and medium-sized offices. The ScreenOS 3.1 software enables users to more easily define and configure security zones within a network.
"We’re trying to send the message to the world that the security market continues to change,” says Chris Roeckl, NetScreen’s director of product marketing and alliances. “It is important to keep identifying the new types of security threats that keep showing up all over the enterprise landscape.”
Roeckl says that the main threats to networks today come from wireless LANs, hackers, inside jobs, and Trojan attacks through unsuspecting employees.
The new products also allow VPN-tunnels, which traditionally have been limited to outside the enterprise, to run inside the enterprise and to be established between any interfaces.
Other companies that play in this field include Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), SonicWall Inc. (Nasdaq: SNWL), Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), and WatchGuard Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: WGRD).
— Eugénie Larson, Reporter, Light Reading