Internet security firm Trend Micro today announced the latest phase of its ongoing Enterprise Protection Strategy (EPS) initiative and launched new virus outbreak prevention appliance, 'Network VirusWall 1200'.
According to the company, the VirusWall device was designed to detect and block malware passing inside the network and allow administrators to control or limit network access by non-compliant or vulnerable devices.
According to product marketing manager Clive Weinstein, many networks were 95 percent protected but they didn't address the threat of roaming users. Weinstein said that because of the rapid uptake of mobile technology “many people are walking around, plunging into networks -- and they are not patched”.
“It's like a gatekeeper,” confirmed Weinstein, “if your notebook is not patched and up to date, VirusWall just won't let you in”.
“It's a protection system covering every end of a network” he said.
According to the company, the technology relied on low-level policies to deny network access to machines that were still vulnerable to potential threats.
When asked about the virus combating technology itself, Weinstein commented that while much of the existing virus protection for networks was in the form of applications, “VirusWall works in layers two and three of the OSI layers”, which was well under the “application layer, where your stock standard antivirus applications operate”.
The reason for this, according to Trend Micro's managing director, Chris Poulos, was that many worms also operated well beneath the application layer and hence escaped detection by conventional virus software.
“Their speed and rate of propagation are much higher”, he said, “Network VirusWall extends our EPS strategy into the network layer”.
“It's essentially vulnerability protection” said Weinstein, a process taking place before previous EPS stages dealing with virus outbreak cycle.
“We've identified operating system vulnerability as a major-major issue,” he said. While this is not a software patching system itself, according to Weinstein, “it is an alternative form of patch management”.
When asked if Network VirusWall would only work with Trend Micro software, Weinstein said “it will complement [other] existing solutions”. But he did also say that the product worked with Microsoft platforms only, and that they would be “looking at Linux, probably at the next stage”.
“It will be a year of pain”, Weinstein said when asked about the future. “2004 is going to be an interesting year because the [worm] numbers will be increasing.”