Symantec box guards the gateway

With its recent product launch, Symantec Corp. is jumping on a growing trend and aiming to bring as much gateway security a business could need into one device.

Announced in February but launched last month, the Symantec Gateway Security appliance combines five security elements into one box, including firewall, intrusion detection, antivirus, VPN and content filtering. The goal is to provide all of these forms of protection at the gateway, between the network and Internet, or between individual network segments, thereby eliminating the need for various implementations, appliances, interfaces and management tools.

“The whole idea of this is security made simple,” explained Kevin Krempulec, regional manager, SMB and channels for Symantec in Toronto.

Krempulec explained that by only having one appliance to manage, enterprises can save on management costs. As well, management is less complicated because the device’s functions are integrated onto one console, and can even be managed remotely.

When asked how much experience is required to install and deploy the device, Krempulec said if the user is familiar with firewalls, “they’re not going to have a problem.”

He added that depending on the network’s complexity, deployment could take more time, but the average installation should only take about 30 minutes.

One analyst noted that he sees the Symantec appliance making a mark in two areas: the small- and medium-sized business market, as well as branch offices. In both markets, companies likely don’t have someone on staff full-time, or even at all, to maintain security technology and practices.

“Customers are looking for a (single) solution as opposed to multiple solutions,” said Charles Kolodgy, research manager of Internet security software at International Data Corp. (IDC) in Framingham, Mass. “For companies that don’t have (a) large IT staff and don’t have (a) big security staff, Symantec Gateway is going to be something that is going to help them a lot.”

He noted that with this release, Symantec is moving in the same direction as other vendors in the market, who are all trying to offer all-in-one solutions. For instance, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SonicWALL Inc., an Internet security company, offers a box with firewall/VPN, “and you can buy modules to do your antivirus and they’re looking to add IDS to it,” he explained. “Down at that small- to medium- business market, many of the box vendors have multiple solutions in the one box.…It’s very much a growing trend we see in a number of the appliance areas.”

He added that the multi-functionality of the Symantec product is something that customers have been asking for. By putting everything into one box, managing security and implementing it becomes less complicated.

Symantec Gateway Security currently comes in three flavours: the 5110, which supports up to 50 users and has a maximum throughput of 40Mbps, has a list price of $18,890; the 5200, at $37,740, supports up to 250 users and features a maximum throughput of 80Mbps; and the 5300 supports an unlimited number of users and features a maximum throughput of 80Mbps.

All of the available models are 19-inch, rack-mountable units, according to the company. For more information, visit Symantec’s Canadian Web site at

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