NetScreen Casts a Wide Net

The newly public NetScreen Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: NSCN) is stepping up its product attack in both the service provider and enterprise markets, building security devices that snap into networks of any speed or size.

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
Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 11:05:56 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net firewalls are interesting, and the ultra-fast ones come with optical interfaces.

Expect more firewall coverage from LR.

lightmaster 12/4/2012 | 11:05:56 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Excuse the previous finger check...

High speed firwalls are certainly relevant.
THis is certainly the case with optical Internet access and perhaps other services as well. No company is going to pay for an OC-12 (or GigE's) worth of Internet access if their firewall restricts it to DS-3 speed. That arguement follows as you increase speeds.

Everyone talks about the "intelligent" optical network. Now we'll start hearing about the "hardened" optical network!
stuartb 12/4/2012 | 11:05:56 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Now a firewall vendor is being covered in Lightreading? Is the optical industry that slow?
noitall 12/4/2012 | 11:05:55 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net there are some interesting companies building routing/switching systems for wireless operators and the segment looks ready to take off. any plans to offer a site dedicated to wireless? lots of vc money going into this sector all of the sudden. some companies to start with:

tahoe networks
cambia networks

there's a new category people are calling the mobile internet edge that has some real relevance to optical networking and internet infrastructure especially as mobile computing really starts to take off. csco and jnpr are selling backbone gear in the form of atm switches and ip routers (m-class and gsrs) to wireless carriers but this new category at the edge will be a battleground with some reasonable business opportunities if the systems companies and software shops like opwv are successful building platforms on which carriers can deploy compelling services like dedicated ip, wap and mobile commerce.

byte and switch looks like it's generated some traction for storage. wireless is worthy and there's no dedicated resource for the segment that i've found yet.
Peter Heywood 12/4/2012 | 11:05:50 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Great minds...we hope to be unveiling something in the wireless space in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned.

Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 11:05:43 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Optical traditionally implies layer 1. I didn't know there was a layer 0.

Anyhow, we've always covered optical infrastructure, and the equipment that's plugged into it, and the services that run over it. And the people, and the money, blah blah blah.

Firewalls fit in there.

Our largest demographics are service providers, and the financial community. A lot of them are interested in firewalls, I think.

We tend to operate on the "more information is a good thing" principal, when in doubt.



stuartb 12/4/2012 | 11:05:43 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Steve- Sure firewalls are interesting and might include a 100Base-FX port, but you guys should concentrate on happenings lower down in the protocol stack. Optical implies layers 0-3.

I would think that your readership, which I estimate to be comprised primarily of networking system vendors, would prefer this.

Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 11:05:39 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Stu,

No offense taken. Appreciate the input, sincerely.

Maybe we should start a separate security site?

We've had the same problem with working out how to cover another hot area: wireless. We're launching a site on that subject at the end of February.

Best, Steve
stuartb 12/4/2012 | 11:05:39 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Steve- WDM implies layer 0, unless you think
that somehow color is a "physical" thing.

I also don't mean to beat a dead-horse, but the definition for Lightreading's coverage area seems to get increasingly vague over time. I understand the need to grow the business, but the way things are going w/Lightreading I wouldn't be surprised to see an article sometime soon on Windows XP. After all, some buildings run fiber to the desktop and have PCs with 100Base-FX NICs.

More information is not a good thing for a trade pub that claims to specialize in Optical Networking. No offense intended, just honest criticism from a fan.

lucender 12/4/2012 | 10:58:59 PM
re: NetScreen Casts a Wide Net Actually, I've always liked that LR wasn't narrowly focused on the Optical space. I'm an NMS infrastructure guy, and I don't much care what kind of device I manage. I like the broader view of the industry.
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