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3Com upgrades Firewall Cards

Adds protection for notebook and remote users

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3Com has launched a rack of new embedded Firewall Cards. The range includes a new 3Com Firewall PC Card, as well as a revamp of existing Firewall Desktop PCI Cards, 3Com Firewall Server PCI Cards and 3Com Embedded Firewall Policy Server.

Designed to secure vulnerable notebooks and remote PCs, the products provide hardware firewall protection with built-in 10/100 LAN connectivity. It's a way of defending in depth against attacks using a hardware approach that is faster, more secure and, in theory, easier to manage than software firewalls (which are possibly more flexible).

Such an approach is good news for sysadmins, but much less palatable for workers downloading MP3s from work. Those potentially risky UDP ports are almost sure to be blocked with 3Com's products.

Building on 3Com's first Embedded Firewall products, launched last February, the new Firewall Cards enable network managers to extend Embedded Firewall protection to remote users connecting to the corporate network via a VPN broadband connection. The newly announced enhanced security products also automatically detect if a user is connecting from inside or outside the LAN's physical perimeter and applies the appropriate security policies for that location.

The products (which use firewall technology from Secure Computing) aim to frustrate unauthorised actions by both external, and internal, ne'er do wells.

3Com is targeting the most security-sensitive market segments with the products: government, finance, healthcare, and education (an odd one this as budgets are tight in schools and Unis and security policies tend to be less strictly enforced).

Prices for the 3Com Embedded Firewall Policy Server start at $199 (for 10 clients). Firewall PC Cards cost form $219 each or $3,999 for 20. The Firewall Desktop PCI Card with 10/100 LAN costs from $179, with discounts for bulk purchases.

Firewall Server PCI Card with 10/100 LAN will set you back $329 each, again with bulk discount.

3Com Embedded Firewall Solution has been approved for export worldwide, subject to standard export restrictions. ®

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