March 08, 2001, 1:25 PM — CHECK POINT SOFTWARE Technologies is an industry leader that helped make firewalls standard-issue software for IT departments. Check Point plans to take its software beyond the firewall to help secure wireless applications and business-to-business e-commerce. Executive Vice President Jerry Ungerman, talking with InfoWorld Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, explains how Check Point will evolve beyond intranets in the next few months.
InfoWorld: What in your mind differentiates Check Point Software in the security space?
Ungerman: Instead of treating a VPN [virtual private network]as just a networking access device for site-to-site VPNs, we integrated our security technology into our VPN technology to create what ultimately became our architecture. Our secure virtual network architecture brings home the importance of providing an end-to-end, enterprisewide security infrastructure that focuses on securing networks, applications, systems, and users.
InfoWorld: What makes your VPN approach different?
Ungerman: We integrated the firewall and the VPN into one product. Now [customers] have only one management station from which they manage the entire security policies and rules that relate to the VPN and the firewall. So the tight integration of the two-into-one product is what has distinguished us. This approach is hugely cost-effective for site-to-site access, for remote access, and for protecting the internal network, as opposed to such things as frame relay or private lines. Everybody is moving to it for cost reasons. A lot of people still put in standard VPN solutions that provide only encryption from site to site. Yet eventually most people rip them out; six months, nine months down the road, they find this is impossible to operate. They can't manage the VPN independently -- it's too cumbersome. They're punching holes in our firewalls and it's not providing a [proper] level of security.
InfoWorld: After that happens, what comes next?