Use enterprise client firewall with some VPNs

Use enterprise client firewall with some VPNs

Symantec Corp. has designed a desktop firewall application that will protect enterprise and remote clients from back-door attacks.

Always-on connections via cable modem or digital subscriber line are more susceptible to intrusion than dial-up connections. Particularly vulnerable are cable modems' static IP addresses. Not only is the stored information at risk, but virtual private network connections can even turn such systems into back doors for attacking enterprise networks.

'What people are telling us is that it is the remote user they are worried about,' said Nat Maple, senior product manager for Symantec's Enterprise Solutions Division in Cupertino, Calif.


Desktop Firewall has separate areas for configuring security and privacy settings, which can be pushed out to remote nodes.


Desktop Firewall 2.0 resides on a remote desktop PC and has remote management services for installation and configuration. Although it is the first product in the company's enterprise security line, it is based on second-generation technology'Symantec's Norton Personal Firewall 2000 Version 2.0'hence the 2.0 designation.

The firewall hides the PC from remote sweeps, and it logs known intrusions and Trojan programs.

Cookies, ActiveX controls and Java applets can be admitted or denied on a site-by-site basis. The firewall monitors outbound as well as inbound traffic to keep a PC from being used as an agent in a distributed denial-of-service attack.

It also can prevent confidential information from being sent out without the user's knowledge.

Confidential information is defined by text strings, so specific files can be tagged, but there is no way to make logical groupings and restrict an entire folder or class of files.

A-OK at launch

Desktop Firewall supports Microsoft Systems Management Server, log-in scripts and Web-based installation. An auto-configuration feature sets up the firewall the first time it is launched. The administrator can also configure custom applications and push the settings out to remote nodes. Individual remote users can customize their configurations.

Event logging on the current version is local, although Symantec plans to make centralized logging available in the future. The firewall currently works with VPNs from Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and Nortel Networks Inc. of Brampton, Ontario. VPN support for Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. of Redwood City, Calif., will be added in the coming months. The three companies' products account for about 70 percent of the VPN market.

Desktop Firewall 2.0 starts around $27 per node for 500 nodes.

Contact Symantec at 800-745-6054.

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