Check Point unveils small business appliances

Check Point unveils small business appliances

Check Point on Monday introduced two multipurpose security appliances for small businesses.

Check Point Software Technologies said it will bring firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention and other capabilities to small businesses that think inside the box: One-box security appliances from its SofaWare Technologies subsidiary are set to ship worldwide next month.

The Check Point Safe@Office 500 and Safe@Office 500W Unified Threat Management appliances are based on the California, company's Firewall-1 and VPN-1 software, adapted for embedded devices. The 500W includes an integrated IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi access point. The appliances are designed for installation at a small business location, with management by employees in the office or a reseller or service provider, said Liran Eshel, chief executive officer of SofaWare. The Ramat Gan, Israel, company is majority owned by Check Point and focuses on small business customers.

Ease of use and outsourced management are key requirements for small businesses, Eshel said.

"More and more small businesses realize they're vulnerable to attack, but also realize they don't have the in-house expertise to protect themselves against those attacks," Eshel said. For example, typical enterprise firewall software requires administrators to build security policies from scratch, but the Safe@Office appliances come with preset policies that the company or a third party can modify, he said. For outside management, Check Point has already formed a partnership with Bell Canada in which the carrier will resell the devices and offer to manage them for its small business customers, according to Eshel.

Small businesses would use one appliance at each of their locations. For enterprise branch and remote offices, Check Point offers the VPN-1 Edge, which is designed for centralized management by enterprise IT administrators, Eshel said.

The Safe@Office appliances are designed to handle the following security functions:

-- Stateful antivirus scanning of e-mail, file downloads, Web content and any user-defined port, with profile updates from Check Point;

-- Intrusion prevention, with the ability to disallow certain applications such as specific peer-to-peer file-sharing systems;

-- Traffic monitoring and troubleshooting tools that can be used to assign more bandwidth to critical applications;

-- VPN (virtual private network) features for secure connectivity to branch offices and telecommuters;

-- The ability to create wireless hotspots in the office for guests, with temporary user accounts and Web-based authentication, with WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and IPSec (Internet Protocol Security).

Prices for the Safe@Office 500 will start at US$299 for the device and five user licenses for the software. The 500W will be priced from US$449 with five licenses. Both products are also available with 25 licenses or unlimited licenses. Subscriptions to firewall and antivirus updates will be priced starting at US$10 per user per month.

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