Appliances to boost network defence
By Fauziah Muhtar
26th November 2001 (Computimes)

TO enable companies to keep pace with increasing bandwidth demands and new cyber threats, Top Layer Networks has announced two new security appliances.

The new Attack Mitigator and Balancer intrusion detection system are considered affordable to help companies in boosting network defence. Top Layer's vice president Asia-Pacific Alex Turkington said the Attack Mitigator and Balancer are part of a product family derived from the company's AppSwitch/AppSafe.

"These products were developed in response to customer and channel demand for technologies that address specific security challenges in the market today," he said.

Top Layer claims that the appliances can provide a simple way for customers to protect both their security investments and their networks. The Balancer in particular provides increased performance and availability for intrusion detection systems either on Fast Ethernet or gigabit-attached systems, the company said.

This solution does not detect intrusion that comes from the Internet, but instead distributes workload among multiple intrusion detection systems. It has the ability to adapt to customers' application requirements via multiple carbon copy groups and create a fully redundant intrusion detection system configuration. "This is the only security hardware that is able to provide up to four carbon copy groups," Turkington said.

The Balancer allows simultaneous flow mirroring to multiple groups of sensors, protocol analysers, sniffers and RMON (remote monitoring) probes; aggregates intrusion detection system viewing of networks with any segment and virtual local area network; and enables the system to scale to full gigabit speeds.

The Balancer is available in two models - the AS3531 with 12 10/100 ports priced at US$11,995 (RM45,600) and the AS3532 with 12 10/100 and two-gigabit ports at US$19,995.

Meanwhile, the Attack Mitigator serves as an added layer of protection that complements existing firewalls in stopping denial of service, distributed DoS (DDoS) and worm attacks that come from Internet connection.

"The best thing is not only stopping DDoS attacks from the outside, but it also filters the outbound activities, which means it filters both incoming and outgoing data from inside the organisation to the Internet," said Turkington in Petaling Jaya.

The product's features include pre-configuration to recognise and block 15 known DoS attacks, and easy adaptability to react to new DoS attack methodologies and be developed as an easy-to-use tool.

To be effective, the Attack Mitigator is placed between a router and a firewall, Turkington said.

The company is working with CheckPoint and Cisco in providing detailed report functions in each firewall reporting window. Available by first quarter next year, the Attack Mitigator is priced at US$9,000.

Previously, the AppSwitch/AppSafe solution was a box to deliver many segments of Internet protocol traffic management. However, it seems that only a few functions are widely used. Top Layer said the benefit of introducing specific products will bring ease of deployment and support, increased performance and availability, competitive positioning and pricing, and will allow their customers to purchase the functionality they need. "With this strategy, we are able to work with system integrators to offer specific functions," Turkington said.