Vital Security Appliance NG-5000

This device from Finjan Software provides antivirus scanning and content filtering in a standalone, 1U-height, rack-mountable case.

Finjan's operating system, VSOS, is based on a secure version of Linux, but a knowledge of Linux is not required to obtain the best from the device.

Set up is simple, with a wizard-based web browser interface taking the user through all the required steps.

The system's behavior-blocking software offers scanners from McAfee and Sophos, and you can have both systems configured and running at the same time.

This is not a recommended practice where workstations are concerned, however, because different scanners have been known to interfere with each other's operations, but the dual configuration works well on this system and we encountered no problems with it in testing.

Similar options are available for the content-filtering systems and anti-spam features, although these were not evaluated in this test.

While these facilities are often provided as extras in firewall appliances, having them available in a standalone device allows for more flexible network configuration options. It can also improve efficiency by allowing the firewall to concentrate on firewall functions while the antivirus tasks are then offloaded to the free-standing device.

A free-standing device can also provide centralized virus scanning on internal networks in situations where a combined firewall and AV device would not be required. However, since it only scans web traffic, it does not protect the local network from infections introduced from individual workstations. These will still need to have AV software installed to protect against this possibility, although there would be no need to scan email at the workstation.

Finjan's NG-5000 can be deployed as one comprehensive unit, or it can be deployed with other units as part of a load-balanced configuration, providing further flexibility.

Product title
Vital Security Appliance NG-5000
Product info
Name: Vital Security Appliance NG-5000 (Group Test: AV management) Description: Price: $14,100 for a one-year subscription for 1,000 users
The device is unusual in supporting the use of two separate virus-scanning engines for extra security.
Although it can certainly protect against email viruses, it cannot deal with infections introduced through individual workstations.
A very capable device providing antivirus facilities to complement existing firewalls.

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