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Security is the name of the game at Interop

Messaging security was a hot Interop topic, rivaled only by every other aspect of security. Vendors rolled out wares to protect messaging systems and other points on the network.

Security was a hot topic at Interop this year and included strong activity in the secure messaging space.

"I noticed a lot less security companies at this year's Interop. Of those attending, I saw a strong presence in secure messaging vendors," said Charlotte Dunlap, security analyst for Current Analysis. "Consolidation continues to be the trend, of course, with SonicWall announcing its first e-mail security product following its acquisition of MailFrontier."

Offering broader messaging solutions was another theme at the show and a growing trend in general, Dunlap said. "For example, BorderWare this week and SurfControl a couple weeks ago announced solutions that bring together a number of communications protocols under one offering," she said. This means that users will be able to centrally manage e-mail, Web, instant messaging (IM), and VoIP. "We'll see more consolidation as other secure messaging vendors continue to broaden their solutions."

SonicWall announced the SonicWall E-mail Security suite, aimed at small to midsized customers. The product comes in software and appliance versions and provides inbound and outbound e-mail security and value-add features that include antispam, antivirus, antiphishing, auditing, policy management, and e-mail compliance capabilities. SonicWall E-mail Security suite will be integrated with SonicWall's Global Management System in the second half of 2006. Integration with SonicWall's management platform will provide customers with a single management console to manage a number of security products, including Web security, IDS and antispyware.

For its part, BorderWare announced the BorderWare Infinity Platform, which lets users centrally manage threats across a number of communication channels. including e-mail, IM, Web/FTP and VoIP.

"This single-policy, single-management approach, which supports multiple protocols, differentiates the company from many secure messaging point product competitors," Dunlap said. The technology is driven by compliance regulations that require companies to implement a uniform policy that protects both inbound and outbound traffic, despite the traffic protocol. Compliance concerns are also triggered by users' ability to send sensitive information outside through a number of different communications types. BorderWare has also announced a next-generation reputation service called BorderWare Security Network (BSN), which analyzes the behavior of IP addresses across multiple protocols for e-mail, Web, IM and VoIP.

Secure messaging provider Mirapoint also released this week a new centralized reporting tool called Messaging Reporter which helps its large enterprise customers track spam, virus, and email activities throughout a network. The aggregation technology leverages SIM/SEM capabilities from eIQnetworks to provide customers with information and analysis on email traffic and support compliance requirements.

In other security-related news at Interop, Internet Security Systems (ISS) unveiled its Virtual Security Operations Center (Virtual-SOC) for Managed Security Services. Virtual-SOC is an online platform for monitoring and controlling security operations across both ISS and third-party security and networking devices. Moving forward, ISS will deliver all of its Managed Security Services through the Virtual-SOC, resulting in tight integration between the services and added value for customers.

ISS also announced that it has developed a working prototype for switch-enabled intrusion prevention system (SWIPS) technology. By teaming with network infrastructure provider Extreme Networks, ISS illustrated the possibility of implementing intrusion prevention system (IPS) technology at the network switch level.

On the VPN front at Interop, firewall, VPN, and intrusion detection provider Stonesoft announced its next-generation security platform. The enhanced StoneGate platform safeguards companies from potential security breaches that can occur with power outages. Through the multilink VPN, companies can have various ISP connections (up to six) running at once, which seamlessly fail over in the event of downed power. The firewall also protects by employing full use all of 65,636 firewall ports. StoneGate provides manageability by enabling the administrator to handle up to 40 firewalls at once, allowing IT to be more strategic in its security processes and to become more proactive than reactive.

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