October 15, 2001, 10:45 AM — Looking to expand the range of services offered and protected by its Firebox line of security appliances, WatchGuard Technologies Inc. Monday announced an upgrade to the software that runs its Firebox security hardware, adding DNS (Domain Name Server) security, expanded VPN (Virtual Private Network) support and integration with intrusion detection systems.
The software, called the Firebox System 5.0, adds a DNS proxy to secure the DNS servers that many companies run, said Bill Hansey, product marketing manager at WatchGuard. DNS servers are the servers that translate URLs like www.watchguard.com into the numerical IP addresses computers use to address each other. DNS servers need protection because a number of security flaws, including one listed on the SANS Institute's top 20 vulnerabilties list, expose them to attack, he said. Also included in the Firebox software are proxies to block malicious or unwanted Web, e-mail and FTP (file transfer protocol) traffic as well as antivirus software from McAfee ASaP, he said.
The new version of the software also offers integration with intrusion detection systems (IDS) so that IDSs and Firebox can work together to block attacks without user intervention, according to Matthew Dickey, product marketing engineer. The software also expands support for VPNs, now offering access to up to 1000 simultaneous tunnels and including a remote access VPN client with an integrated personal firewall, he said.
Included with the purchase of a Firebox is a one-year subscription to WatchGuard's LiveSecurity Service, a security information, code and update service. An annual subscription costs around 20 percent of the price of the device purchased, he said. All current Firebox owners who subscribe to the service will received the updated software for free, Dickey said. All Firebox devices sold by the end of the month will include the new software, he added.
The Firebox hardware comes in four models, the 700, 1000, 2500, 4500. The models are largely distinguished by the capacity they can carry. The 700 costs US$2490, the 1000 $4990, the 2500 $7490, and the 4500 $9990. The Firebox system is targeted at organizations of between 50 and 5000 employees, Dickey said, with schools, government agencies and distributed enterprises being likely customers for the devices.
WatchGuard, in Seattle, can be reached at +1-206-521-8340 or online at http://www.watchguard.com.