3Com NICs can house desktop firewalls

A 3Com hardware firewall pushes the protected perimeter back to the desktop client's network interface card.

The Embedded Firewall from 3Com Business Connectivity Co. of Santa Clara, Calif., works with the company's secure NICs. The integrated RISC processor cannot be bypassed, and claimed throughput is 70 Mbps.

Central management of the firewall policy prevents end users from changing it.

The product is based on a firewall from Secure Computing Corp. of San Jose, Calif., developed under a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In addition to NICs for desktop computers and servers, the embedded firewall package includes a management console and a software policy server that runs under Microsoft Windows 2000 or NT 4.0. The desktop client requires Windows 2000, 9x or NT.

Each server supports up to 3,000 clients and accommodates 32 policy rules for clients and 64 rules for servers. The firmware is upgradeable.

An audit browser can log client events to complement intrusion detection, and it also can test policy by looking for conflicts with user activity.

Agencies testing it

James Teal, 3Com's director of business strategy for security solutions, said several federal agencies have beta-tested the Embedded Firewall under concerted attacks.

The policy server sells for $995; desktop client licenses cost from $500 for 10 to $8,000 for 200. Server client licenses cost $200 each or $750 for five. Desktop 10/100-Mbps NICs are $120, server NICs $129. The company's 100 Secure Fiber FX card sells for $359.

A starter pack of policy server and license, 10 desktop client NICs and licenses, plus one server NIC and license costs $1,995.

Contact 3Com at 800-638-3266.

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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