Industry innovators 2007: eSoft Instagate

The unified threat management (UTM) market is a fast growing segment of the security market and vendors are trying to cram more and more security into a single device. The major problem here is that most vendors take a best of breed approach and bring in third-party technology. This is where eSoft separates itself from the bunch.

The InstaGate incorporates a full suite of UTM products which are developed and tested by eSoft. These products include a deep inspection firewall, IPsec VPN, anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, a web filter and, finally, an intrusion prevention system. When we first saw UTMs in the market, we saw the InstaGate as a leader because not only did it provide all the protection of the others plus some, it could also be customized specifically for the environment through the purchase of individual SoftPaks.

Now, eSoft has moved from SoftPaks to what it calls ThreatPaks. These ThreatPaks are more modular, so customers can purchase suites based on their explicit needs. For example, if the customer only needs web protection they can purchase the Web ThreatPak and have the ability to enforce proper internet usage, do web filtering and protect against spyware and phishing. By taking this kind of approach, the customer can keep existing products in place if they choose, or go all out and have InstaGate fully loaded.

One important aspect that makes eSoft a top innovator is its sophisticated threat lab where they are constantly researching new threats and developing new technologies. Rather than calling on third-party vendors to do the dirty work for them, eSoft is constantly working on staying ahead of the curve and finding hidden threats before others do.

It is the combination of this work and a low cost to the customer that is, in our view, a forward looking approach. Customers get the highest end of up-to-the-minute protection without having to pay excessively for it.

Finally, the main console, called ThreatMonitor, is more than just the average run of the mill dashboard. ThreatMonitor brings together real-time monitoring and alerting in one easy to read page with charts, graphs and messages. This means easy administration, as well as excellent protection.

What it is: UTM
Vendor:  eSoft, Inc. -
Cost: contact eSoft
Innovation: The implementation of ThreatPaks
What we liked: Flexibility and the ability to build up an environment that addresses specific enterprise requirements

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