Industry innovators 2007: eSoft Threatwall

As we pointed out earlier in this month's issue, eSoft has the UTM for everyone. However, in some cases, a UTM is not what is needed. In some cases the customer's current environment already has a firewall and VPN, but is without a way to manage content and usage policies. This is where the ThreatWall appliance comes in.

ThreatWall comes in two flavors: one is a web gateway and the other is for email. The Web Security Gateway not only brings together URL filtering with the same protection offered by InstaGate in the areas of virus, worm, trojan and spyware protection, but also includes specific access controls to IM, peer-to-peer and social networking websites.

The email version focuses on managing email security and compliance fully. Features included in the Email Security Gateway include anti-spam, phishing protection, protection against threats, and an email application firewall.

ThreatWall is part of eSoft's strategy to provide modular security tools to small- and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). A big piece of the eSoft approach is the development of a distributed intelligence architecture. This assists in providing early detection and warning through the use of a widely distributed worldwide sensor farm made up of small software agents that sit on eSoft products. These agents, with the customer's permission, of course, report data on attacks back to eSoft so that the company can evolve its responses.

The eSoft vision of bringing world-class protection to SMEs begins with a broad, extensible baseline platform. Customers then can build up an infrastructure that is effective in their environment and affordable. The customer does not need to be a threat expert to get the most out of ThreatWall or any of eSoft's products.

One creative way of achieving this is simplification of the analysis process. Using what the vendor calls “bi-modal scanning,” eSoft tools analyze at the data stream level. Too, eSoft develops partnerships with universities and research organizations to leverage research and development opportunities that would otherwise force increased pricing to the customer.


What it is: Unique security gateway
Vendor: eSoft, Inc. -
Cost: contact eSoft
Innovation: World-class protection for SMEs
What we liked: Flexibility and the ability to build up an environment that addresses specific enterprise requirements

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