Panda GateDefender Performa is a scalable, secure content management perimeter security appliance. It delivers proactive protection at the gateway against content-based web and email threats. GateDefender supplies anti-malware and spam protection, and content, web and protocol filtering. It scans inbound and outbound traffic in protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SNMP, POP3, IMAP4 and NNTP. We evaluated the appliance version, but it is worth noting that a cloud offering is also available.

The anti-malware protection package detects and blocks threats - such as viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, dialers, joke, phishing, hacking tools and IM, P2P and VoIP applications. GateDefender also contains a heuristic engine that can be used for unknown or zero-day threats. The Gate-Defender deploys as a transparent bridge and includes a bypass feature to allow the flow of traffic in the event of a system failure. It also supports a load-balancing configuration to help it scale into large enterprise environments. The HTTPS scanning is done using a man-in-the-middle technology to police the encrypted traffic. Integration with Active Directory is supported so that reporting and logging can tie back to the responsible user. The anti-virus engine uses Panda Security's database, the anti-spam engine is via Cloudmark and the web filtering engine is from Commtouch.

The user interface is accessed through a secure web browser. The main screen provides general stats in graphical format. The user interface was good, although we did have one issue with the browser window scaling to access certain menu items. The configuration capabilities were from menu choices or by simply selecting "on/off." The hacking tool detection did not provide any configuration options besides "enable."