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ISS puts more network defenders on patrol

Company adds two new models to its Proventia line of security products, which protect networks against online attacks.

Internet Security Systems has added two new models to its flagship Proventia line of intrusion prevention appliances.

The Atlanta-based network protection company on Monday announced the Proventia G400 and the Proventia G2000, part of a family of integrated security products designed to protect corporate systems. The devices feature spyware-blocking for the network, improved policy management, and a preconfigured set of prevention policies.

Spyware blocking has become a must-have feature for security vendors, as the market for intrusion prevention software becomes more competitive.

"With other IPS vendors introducing spyware blocking, ISS needed to show they have these features too to remain competitive," said Greg Young, a Gartner security analyst. "A few vendors are getting a majority of the business, and the pressure is on for those vendors who don't keep up with the features race."

Young added that the market for intrusion prevention software is still developing overall, and no one can claim the lead yet.

The G400 model, which passes data through at 400 megabits per second, sells for $36,995. The G2000 model, which has a throughput of 2 gigabits per second, sells for $95,995. Both products are already shipping in the United States.

In the new models, spyware will be blocked at the network level, preventing connected PCs from becoming infected via downloads, said Chris Simmons, ISS product manager. He added that the appliances will also prohibit any spyware on the system from transmitting outgoing information.

The appliances also offer IT administrators the ability to control prevention policies at a port, Internet Protocol address or device. Simmons said this feature is geared to corporate customers, who must manage a sprawling network.

Proventia's devices also offer something for smaller customers, such as preconfigured intrusion prevention policies.

Analysts noted, however, that several other intrusion prevention appliance makers sell similar technology.

"ISS is not first to the field with many of these features, but the nice thing is it builds on an already strong deployment base," said Steven Hunt, president of 4H International, a strategic consulting firm for physical and IT security. "The new ISS solutions fit into the pre- and during attack parts of the threat management architecture."

Other IPS vendors rolling out new features include V-Secure, which on Monday announced its version 8.0 upgrade. V-Secure IPS 8.0 offers signature-enabled intrusion prevention technology, which serves as a way to verify the appropriate user is gaining access to the network and information.