Switches take role of security kit

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Network security appliances could be on their way out, as vendors switch to
security on switches.

Standalone network security appliances could soon disappear, as vendors instead integrate security technology at the switch level.

Symantec last week announced the availability of Symantec Secure Application Services to help firms design, test and maintain application security.

The news follows the security firm’s decision to concentrate on host-based security and management products and services. Symantec last month said it would wind down development of its gateway and network products.

In response, analyst Gartner advised organisations not to purchase products from Symantec’s SGS and SGN ranges and to “move to other solutions at the next refresh point”.

As Symantec exits the market, vendors like HP are boosting their capabilities in this area. Its ProCurve Networking division will build firewall, antivirus and other security technology into LAN switches. This could cause other network security firms to also consider quitting the appliance market.

“We will put security that was previously in dedicated appliances into switches next autumn, specifically a virus-throttling technology – which is essentially a lightweight intrusion-prevention system,” said ProCurve Networking’s Paul Congdon. “Integrating a stateful firewall is cost-effective. But adding anti-spam tools where you will have to disassemble messages is a challenge without making it cost US$10,000.”

Copyright © 2010 IT Week


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