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Check Point musters new security tool

The company gears its security software suite to help corporate customers guard against attacks at network and application levels.

Check Point Software Technologies has geared its security software suite to help corporate customers guard against attacks on both networks and applications.

The new version of the suite, Check Point Next Generation with Application Intelligence, is designed to offer stronger protection against application-level attacks, such as those carried out by the Nimda and Code Red worms. It also protects against denial-of-service (DDoS) and other network-level attacks.

Although network attacks were once the most prevalent threat, application attacks have increasingly taken center stage. There are a numerous applications and Web sites to attack, and flaws can be exploited in days, if not hours.

"If you can close down gaping holes, they (hackers) will move onto someone else's site," said Jeff Bennett, CEO of SiegeWorks, a security software and services firm that resells Check Point software.

Although Redwood City, Calif.-based Check Point will tout the ability of its software to detect and prevent unwanted intrusions, cost savings and management simplicity will be large part of its marketing campaign. The application detection services will be bundled into Check Point's existing firewalls for network security for free, said Check Point president Jerry Ungerman. Additionally, because the products are integrated, they should be easier to administer than two separate applications from different developers.

The company hopes to draw customers from competitors and to encourage existing customers to expand the number of Check Point gateways they maintain, Ungerman said. Check Point derives its revenue from one-time licenses and annual subscription fees for updates.

The product announcement comes on the day that rival security company Symantec unveiled two software packages also aimed at securing corporate networks against application and network attacks.

With these latest releases, the security industry is reinforcing a trend to streamline information technology security and performance.

With the prolonged economic downturn and heightened computer security concerns, corporations have been looking for ways to minimize the amount of time that IT administrators need to spend on keeping networks and computers up-to-date, with patches to thwart new viruses, worms and other threats.

Next Generation with Application Intelligence will be available June 3, the company said. The software carries an annual cost of $1,000 per firewall or $10,000 for up to 100 firewalls. The new Application Intelligence technology will also be included in Check Point's FireWall-1 product and will not require a separate license, the company said.