Check Point strengthens SOHO security offering

Forging ahead with new gear for small and home offices, Check Point Software Technologies announced on Tuesday two new firewall/VPN (Virtual Private Network) appliances and updated small-office software.

The company is announcing Safe@Home Pro and Safe@Office, appliances designed to protect Internet connections at offices with up to 25 users.

Safe@Home Pro is a follow-on device to Safe@Home, the difference being that the Pro version adds IP (Internet Protocol) Security VPN protection. The device acts as a firewall and a VPN client that can initiate VPN sessions with a VPN server. It cannot, however, host a VPN session initiated by another device. It runs on hardware called S-Box made by Check Point subsidary SofaWare.

Safe@Office is a firewall and VPN gateway that is able to host VPN sessions initiated by either another server or a VPN client. It runs on an S-Box that includes a four-port hub.

Check Point is announcing that its scaled-down version of VPN-1/Firewall-1 has been updated and is available to other vendors that might want to install it on their own custom hardware. This VPN-1/Firewall-1 Small Office Next Generation software will appear on appliances made by Celestix, Intrusion, Nokia and VPN Dynamics, Check Point says. These devices could be configured to sit between a WAN (Wide Area Network) router and a LAN, or to use their own WAN port.

Devices supporting VPN-1/Firewall-1 Small Office Next Generation are manageable via Check Point's Site Manager-1 enterprise security management platform. Security policies could be preset on the devices by IT staff and shipped to small offices for nontechnical staff to install. Policy updates could be downloaded.

Safe@Home Pro is available now and costs US$400. Safe@Home Office is available in March and costs $600. Pricing for the devices supporting VPN-1/Firewall-1 Small Office Next Generation have not been set yet.

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Tim Greene

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