While Check Point's new regional director, Scott Ferguson, settles in, the company has launched the first product in a category of Active Defence Internet security, which will allow users to switch on real-time detection and protection for their networks.
The developer has added a central management option to its entire product range, available in Australia in Q3, which can be activated by current subscription holders. The SmartDefence tool, which sits within the firewall and the VPN (virtual private network), gives the user access to lists of traffic and viruses, which are constantly updated by Check Point's R&D team.
SmartDefence will be a standard, though dormant, feature in new Check Point products and upgrades will be available for current Check Point users. Customers pay for the service on an annual licence basis.
The software is designed to complement rather than replace intrusion-detection systems and antivirus solutions by providing an added layer of security protection. The value proposition for resellers, according to Limor Bakal, international channels manager for Check Point, is that the product offers the customer a huge step up in terms of protection and system management without the headaches of a major install.
Switching on the SmartDefence function doesn't mean overhauling the entire security system, Bakal said. What it does mean is that resellers can offer a truly valuable tool to their existing customer base while securing ongoing revenue from subscriptions.
The need for SmartDefence stems from the increasing sophistication and frequency of Internet threats. "The firewall is the first line of defence," she said. "People buy the firewall then add all the other products around it, like encryption and authentication." Because of this, the firewall has to respond as well as detect, and once it has recognised a problem it needs to inform all the other parts of the security system as well as doing something on the fly to block the threat.
Meanwhile, Ferguson, who took over as regional director for Australia/NZ after the departure of Peter Sandilands last month, is finding his feet in his new role. The former Cisco and 3Com man is expected to spend a couple of months feeling his way before announcing any strategic directions or plans.