Stories by Alyson Behr

  • Security costs in full-featured firewalls

    Never has the firewall been asked to do so much. Although firewalls have long offered extras, such as the ability to do VPN processing and content filtering, today vendors are throwing in the kitchen sink, including virus and spam filtering and even intrusion detection and prevention. Putting all of these functions into one box and behind one management interface sounds like a winning idea, but what happens to firewall performance when you turn all of these services on? That was one question I wanted to answer when I tested two full-featured firewalls, Fortinet's FortiGate 800 and ServGate Technologies' EdgeForce Accel, at Spirent Communications' lab.

  • Feature-stoked firewalls burn brightly

    Facing ever-increasing network threats, businesses of all sizes are demanding more security features from their firewalls, such as security policy management, intrusion detection and prevention (IDP), and VPN capabilities. Consequently, firewall manufacturers are rising to the challenge and cramming more and more security functionality into their products.

  • UpdateExpert manages patches painlessly

    The recent Sobig virus and MSBlaster worm illustrate the importance of patch management in today’s sophisticated hacking environment. While not all patches relate to significant system vulnerability or stability issues, IT administrators need to quickly discern those that do — not to mention track which systems are patched and which ones aren’t.

  • A worthy contribution

    The pain associated with Web site content management, main­tenance, and updating is complex and multi-faceted. On the one hand, the development team, whose primary tasks should be developing new areas and adding new functions to the site, is often roped into spending too much time making content revisions and last-minute emergency posts at the behest of the providers.