Check Point Threat Prevention Appliance
Strengths: Comprehensive functionality that is easy to manage.
Weaknesses: None that we found.
Verdict: A solid product that rolls out nicely.
The Threat Prevention Appliance from Check Point provides full-scale threat protection at the perimeter, as well as incorporating with endpoint security applications to provide a comprehensive security infrastructure. This appliance consists of several components that Check Point refers to as security blades. These include firewall, identity awareness, advanced networking and clustering, IPsec VPN, mobile access, web URL filtering and anti-malware. These blades all function together in a single appliance that can be centrally managed through the Check Point SmartConsole.
We found setup and management of this appliance to be much simpler than many of the Check Point products we have seen in the past. It seems as though Check Point has started to refine its product integration with the SmartConsole management junction. The initial setup is done in two stages. The first is to set up the appliance itself. This is done by connecting the device to the network and running through a web-based setup wizard on a machine connected to the same network. This wizard helps get a base configuration in place on the appliance, including network and administrator information. Once the appliance has a base configuration, it can be integrated with the SmartConsole dashboard installed on a machine in the management network. All further configuration and management now can be done through the SmartConsole.
This tool offers a lot in the way of configurability and management functions. The SmartConsole dashboard offers a multitude of configurable security functions that help optimize the security capabilities of the Threat Prevention Appliance. Each software blade of the appliance can be easily managed and finetuned directly from this console, which also can manage other Check Point products. This integration allows for easy management across the entire network infrastructure.
Documentation included a getting-started guide and several administration guides in PDF format. The getting-started guide provided a great amount of detail on initial configuration steps to get the appliance up and running, while the various administrator guides focused in on specific blades of the appliance. We found all documentation to be well-organized and to include many screen shots, diagrams and configuration examples.
Check Point offers standard, premium and elite support levels to customers as part of an annual contract. These services include various levels of phone- and email-based technical help, as well as product replacement and on-site assistance.
At a price of $28,500, it may seem a little steep. However, we find the Threat Prevention Appliance to be a very good value for the money. This price, while it does not include support costs, includes nine software blades - firewall, identity awareness, advanced networking and clustering, IPsec VPN, mobile access, IPS, URL filtering, anti-virus, anti-bot - to provide full perimeter threat protection. These blades combined with easy management and integration tools offer a solid threat management bundle.