VelociRaptor scares off network intruders

By James R. Borck, InfoWorld |  Operating Systems

VelociRaptor is a cut above Cisco's Secure PIX, thanks to its straightforward graphics console for consolidating management of multiple fiirewalls. And unlike Check Point's VPN-1, it delivers application-level filtering and a far easier installation.

But don't let VelociRaptor's ease of use fool you. This little box packs in VPN capabilities for implementing encrypted site-to-site tunnels (as well as remote site-to-site) through an additional IPSec VPN client purchase, a variety of authentication competencies, and protection at the IP, circuit, and application levels.

We slid VelociRaptor into our network well within the 30-minute average setup time touted by Axent. First we entered preliminary IP and gateway information into the front panel LCD display to begin communication on the network, after which the unit generated a series of passwords to allow local and remote access. The front panel could then be locked to prevent unauthorized access. Next we installed the management console software, establishing a connection to the unit, and ran several wizard-driven setup routines, which allowed us to implement security policies.

VelociRaptor provides several helpful wizards for configuring site-to-site and remote-to-site connections. The product required only a modest degree of technical expertise and was up, running, and guarding our door within minutes.

Going beyond mere protocol-level protection, VelociRaptor also embraces IP, circuit-level, and application-level protection. The product's filtering capabilities monitor the validity of TCP/UDP (User Datagram Protocol) communications (such as HTTP, FTP, telnet, and SMTP) to defend against backdoor infiltration and buffer overrun spoofs.

In addition to NAT (network address translation), VelociRaptor's Generic Service Proxies support multiports and port ranges to accommodate a variety of custom e-business requirements. A variety of user authentication methods is available, including common gateway authentication, Radius and TACACS (Terminal Access Controller Access Control System), two-factor tokens, and X.509 digital certificates. VelociRaptor can even interface with PKI (public key infrastructure) solutions from Entrust.

VelociRaptor's self-monitoring feature constantly polls the internal OS to ensure a secure environment and will take action to thwart any malicious procedures detected. The product also watches for suspicious activity on the network pipeline.

When tested by a self-imposed denial-of-service attack, VelociRaptor slowed to a crawl but impressively shrugged off the attempt by closing down the offending connection.

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