SmoothWall Corporate Server is an extremely effective way of turning a PC into a dedicated hardware firewall sitting on its own hardened operating system. The company has now released a bolt-on to the Corporate Server to provide even more protection – Smooth Guardian, a multi-layered content filtering package.
Remember the halcyon days of the dot-com boom, when analysts were insisting that no company worth its salt could continue in business unless they had a web presence? Their weighted words were sufficiently terrifying to ensure that businesses rushed to add that all-important ‘e’ to their trading, resulting in countless new web sites appearing.
Cobion’s OrangeBox Web is a very similar product to DynaComm i:filter. Designed to integrate with a proxy server (for example, Microsoft ISA on Windows 2000/XP), it is also happy to sit on a number of popular Linux and Unix platforms. It can also be used as a proxy server in its own right if you have a small or medium-sized intranet network.
CyberGuard offers a range of firewall/VPN appliances with specifications ranging from three Ethernet interfaces and 125Mbits/ sec throughput to 21 Ethernet interfaces and 2Gbits/sec throughput. All have an integrated VPN, run the same firewall software, and have the same configuration GUI. We tested model KS1500, which can have up to 18 Ethernet interfaces, of which two are gigabit-over-copper as standard. Performance is the strength of the KS1500, which is designed to cope with 1.5 Gbits/sec throughput and up to 1.2 million simultaneous connections. The firewall boasts a host of certification standards including Common Criteria Eval uation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+), ICSA, ITSEC E3, Checkmark, etc. The secure operating system was designed to meet TCSEC/NCSC criteria at the ‘Orange-book’ B2 level.
Gordano is a company that has made the messaging arena its own. Its NTMail product was a revolution when it was first launched in 1994, and it was recently re-branded and overhauled to become Gordano Messaging Suite (GMS).
Installation is simple and straightforward, and Gordano has also ensured that the product is suitable for all major operating systems. Once installed, navigation is easy: the product is logically structured with well-laid out GUIs. Both configuration and management are carried out via a web-based interface.
Although F-Secure may not be the first name in anti-virus that springs to mind, its products are among the heaviest hitters in the industry. Unlike some products which depend purely on their signature lists to be updated, F-Secure also comprises multiple scanning engines and heuristic detection techniques that make it one of the first products to detect new viruses. The company has now brought its expertise to bear in email security with F-Secure Anti-Virus for Internet Mail.
The product is available for Windows (NT and 2000). A Unix version would be nice, although there is a version for Unix which sits at the firewall level. Installation presented no headaches. However because of the way the product works, disk and memory requirements are quite high. It is also better to share the scanning across more than one scanner server to keep bandwidth usage lower.
Trend Micro is another familiar name in the anti-virus world. It has now branched out into email security with its InterScan Messaging Security Suite (IMSS), which, unsurprisingly, places a heavy emphasis on virus containment, but which also contains a number of other extremely valuable features.
IMSS is another spool-and-forward product, which means that the machine it is installed on should have a hard drive sufficient to handle your usual throughput of email. For this reason, and for reliability, it shouldn’t really be installed on the SMTP server. Depending upon the needs of your network, it can be installed either in front of or behind your existing firewall, or even used in place of a firewall if – for some strange reason – you don’t actually have one.
What strikes you when looking at the installation instructions for the securiQ and organiziQ Suites is the sheer number of operating systems supported. Although the mail server has to be Lotus Domino, alongside the familiar Windows platforms we see IBM OS/2 and AIX, Sun Solaris and a couple of Linuxes. We’re told that from January the mail server will not have to be Lotus Notes, but our review was not able to verify this.
securiQ focuses on the management and security of email traffic, with features such as anti-virus available. This allows you to use your tool of choice, but does seem unfair given the cost. organiziQ manages the administration and overheads incurred by email.