Version 3.2 provides not only application proxies and packet filtering--the two most common firewall architectures--but also adds support for Socks version 5 gateways as well. The Socks gateway was developed in partnership with Aventail, a virtual private network company.
The new version will be available on both Windows NT and AIX, IBM's version of Unix. In the NT firewall, Socks version 5 allows easier support for streaming media applications such as Microsoft's NetMeeting or Real Networks' RealAudio and RealVideo that support the user datagram protocol (UDP).
The NT version also supports a "hardened" operating system for the firewall by removing unnecessary elements of the operating system, a measure designed to reduce configuration errors and eliminate security holes.
For both AIX and NT, the new versions will include a security management console from Security Dynamics and two SecurID tokens, used for strong authentication to check the identity of a security manager. IBM and Security Dynamics announced a partnership in January.
Both versions also support eight translated languages, including French, Japanese, Korean, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese. They also offer centralized administration of firewalls from a remote machine. IBM also is adding a training module for the Windows NT version, complementing an existing training program for the AIX firewall.
Pricing for both versions of the software begins at $2,500 for 25 users. Trial copies of both are available at IBM's Web site.
IBM also will continue to resell the Check Point firewall.