October 20, 1997 4:55 PM PDT

Check Point defends its turf

Seeking to defend its firewall franchise, Check Point Software (CHKPF) on Wednesday expects to announce new software to let companies manage network security centrally for all access points to the network.

Check Point's Open Security Manager (OSM), as the software is called, can manage devices and software from other vendors, including Cisco's PIX firewalls, routers running Microsoft's "Steelhead" extension to Windows NT, and 3Com's NetBuilder IP firewall.

Some management capabilities have previously been built into Check Point's flagship FireWall-1 software, including the ability to manage routers from Bay Networks and Cisco. OSM, due to ship by year's end, also can manage those Bay and Cisco routers.

Check Point's announcement, slated for Wednesday in Paris at the NetWorld+Interop trade show, comes as larger players, including Cisco, Microsoft, and McAfee, make forays into the firewall market. Cisco, for example, today announced its third firewall. (See related story)

Check Point's new OSM software is a management console designed to simplify and centralize management of enterprise security for all network access points including routers, black-box firewalls, and other security devices. That will save time by making it unnecessary to configure each element individually.

With OSM, a single enterprise security policy can define rules for all devices, which then implement that policy throughout the network.

The new security software is consistent with Check Point's strategy to broaden its portfolio beyond the firewall market, where its FireWall-1 has been the leader. Last month the company announced FloodGate-1, bandwidth management software for networks.

FloodGate-1 will be able to manage firewalls from other vendors, and future versions of OSM are likely to do the same. The security and bandwidth management software are likely to work in tandem, at least in future editions.

OSM is based on Check Point's security framework, called Open Platform for Secure Enterprise Connectivity (OPSEC). Although Cisco is not a member of OPSEC, it has published application programming interfaces (APIs) for OPSEC's products, which allow Check Point to manage Cisco products with its new offering.

OSM 1.0 for Windows NT will be priced at $1,495 to manage a single device; $9,995 for up to ten devices; and $19,995 to manage an unlimited number of devices. Unix versions for Sun Solaris, HP-UX, and IBM AIX will be available in the first half of 1998. Open Security Manager's management capabilities also will be integrated into FireWall-1 in the first half of next year.

 

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