Some promising new technologies being touted by these companies still need development, the vendors admitted. For instance, Marvin Dickerson, Network Associates' director of product management, said his company's CyberCop Sting software, which redirects hackers to a decoy machine that appears to be the enterprise network, is still intended for a small, select group of firms. Only major financial institutions and "three-letter organizations in government" would need to bait attackers to trace them, Dickerson said.
Likewise, CA's Neugent technology, which mines network data and promotes security improvements baased on detected changes to network use, is not a cure-all, but a tool to be used along with firewalls and antivirus software, Perry said.
Check Point's Smith said his firm recognizes the need for faster firewalls and VPNs as Internet connections from companies get larger. He promised 1G bit/sec firewall and VPN protection by year-end.
When it came time to grill each other, several panelists questioned whether others had coherent product lines. For instance, to give customers a wide choice of security options, Symantec bought Axent, bringing firewall, VPN, vulnerability assessment and intrusion-detection products to Symantec's line of antivirus and content-filtering software.
But Clyde acknowledged the company is still working to integrate products.
Network Associates' Dickerson noted that his firm has grown dramatically through a string of purchases of other security vendors.
That poses challenges, according to Check Point's Smith: "They did the acquisitions, now you have to trust they do the integration."