Feeds

NetScreen firms firewalls against app attacks

Deep Inspection

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

NetScreen Technologies is to integrate intrusion protection technology into its range of hardware firewalls this winter as part of its plans to provide more robust defences against application-level attacks.

Firewalls were traditionally designed to guard against network-level attacks - such as IP spoofing and port/network scans - but as more sophisticated application-layer attacks, such as worms and exploits of known software vulnerabilities, have become increasingly common a need has arisen to rejig corporate defences.

For larger offices, a standalone intrusion detection/intrusion protection (IDP) appliance in addition to a firewall might be the way to go, but an alternative approach is to integrate intrusion protection and firewall technology onto the same platform.

That's the approach NetScreen has taken with its Deep Inspection technology, which features a sub-set of the blocking mechanisms found in its standalone IDP appliances, and will be delivered through a upgrade of the firm's firewall/VPN software, Screen OS version 5, in November. The software upgarde will be available across NetScreen's firewall product range in December.

According to NetScreen, Deep Inspection can provide protection against more than 250 application-level attacks and protocol deviations to key Web services, such as email, file transfer and Web browsing. The functionality is enabled through "deep inspection" into traffic for the following protocols: HTTP, SMTP, IMPA, POP, FTP and DNS, with additional protocol support planned in future releases. Periodic updates provide protection against new types of attacks.

Robert Ma, a Senior Director of Product Marketing and Management at NetScreen, explained that because Deep Inspection looks deeper into traffic there is a trade off which means users looking to maximise performance should still consider deploying separate IDP and firewall appliances. For example, NetScreen's low-end 5GT firewall runs at 75Mbps normally but at only 18Mbps with Deep Inspection technology activated, according to preliminary figures.

In H1 2004, NetScreen's plans to boost the performance of the technology across its product range with hardware acceleration.

Largely because of current performance and functionality limitations, NetScreen is positioning its Deep Inspection as most appropriate for regional and branch offices, instead of central sites.

NetScreen's arch-rival, Check Point, is going down a similar route. Then there’s a growing band of all-in-one appliance vendors who are targeting the same branch office and mid-size businesses as NetScreen is targeting with its Deep Inspection. NetScreen's Ma urged users to look at the functionality when making choices between competitive products in this segment.

In a related announcement (also today), NetScreen said it plans to make its technology easier to manage. NetScreen Security Manager 2004, due in December, is designed to simplify the management of firewall deployments and make it more straightforward to delegate specific management roles around an organisation. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.