Security vendors respond to heightened concerns

Von Bob Francis

Recent security breaches involving universities, credit card processors, and financial institutions are making security a hot topic, and security companies are busy upgrading their product lines -- either by acquiring new product lines or upgrading current products.

Computer Associates on Monday announced the acquisition of Tiny Software, a privately held developer of firewall technology for Windows desktops and servers, to strengthen its hand in the fast-moving computer security market. The acquisition adds new firewall technology to CA"s line of security software. CA will continue to market Tiny Software products as stand-alone offerings, but will also incorporate the line into its eTrust Integrated Threat Management software line later this year.

Meanwhile, Newbury Networks this week is introducing an expanded version of its WiFi Watchdog product. WiFi Watchdog 5.0 uses location technology for intrusion prevention, rogue containment, client protection, and intrusion detection for Wireless LANs (WLANs).

The new version has expanded threat assessment capabilities, new graphical alert reports, automated client protection and containment features, and behavior-based access controls.

WiFi Watchdog 5.0 will be commercially available in September. WiFi Watchdog 5.0 works with WLAN infrastructure solutions from companies such as Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, and Symbol Technologies. Prices start at US$14,995.

Also releasing a new version of its security software this week is Secure Software. Secure is releasing CodeAssure 2.0, which now includes CodeAssure Management Center.

CodeAssure Management Center offers reporting, analysis, administration, and policy-management capabilities designed to provide executives, project managers, and security administrators with information on project performance and policy compliance.

The CodeAssure 2.0 product suite includes CodeAssure Management Center, CodeAssure Workbench for source code analysis, and CodeAssure Integrator for integrating security testing with existing quality assurance tools and processes.

CodeAssure 2.0 is available immediately and starts at $48,000 for a 10-developer deployment.

Last week, Palisade Systems released PacketSure 4.0, a content security appliance that identifies, reports, and blocks content that violates corporate security and compliance policies.

"PacketSure helps organizations ensure compliance with the increasing number of legislative and industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and Sarbanes-Oxley," said Kurt Shedenhelm, president and CEO of Palisade.

"And perhaps just as importantly, from a reputation management perspective, PacketSure helps companies prevent breaches that would otherwise necessitate embarrassing public disclosures as mandated by California"s SB 1386 and other various state and national legislative disclosure initiatives," he said.

According to Shedenhelm, PacketSure identifies, reports, and blocks information leaks across over 130 network communication protocols. "It"s very difficult to cover all those protocols, but we offer a comprehensive, multi-protocol capability," he said.

The new release also monitors and eliminates the use of encrypted third-party e-mail applications, which may be used by employees to secretly send files.

Prices start at $15,000 per PacketSure 4.0 appliance for small companies and reach $40,000 per appliance for large enterprises. Prices depend on the size of the company and the number of workstations.

While some security solutions are aiming at the broad expanse of IT systems, some are also offering more specialized versions of their products because some industries have more stringent security and compliance needs.

SenSage, for instance, this week announced it is teaming up with Cerner to offer P2Sentinel Enterprise, which uses SenSage security analytics software to aggregate, monitor, and investigate security events for healthcare organizations.

"The ability to identify and respond to threats and abuse affecting electronic patient healthcare information is critical in any organization"s efforts to protect patient privacy and achieve HIPAA compliance. Detection demands a comprehensive analysis of audit data," said Bill Miller, vice president of technology for Cerner.

P2Sentinel Enterprise is available now.