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Nortel aims to simplify network security

The company unveils new products designed to boost network security while streamlining the administration of infrastructure.

Nortel Networks on Tuesday unveiled products designed to boost network security while simplifying the administration of infrastructure.

One of the new products, the Alteon Security Manager, monitors and manages in one place the multiple security systems typically scattered across the networks of corporations and service providers. Nortel also announced the Alteon Firewall 5109 for small to medium-size businesses, which is designed to provide networks with a first line of defense against intruders.

The company also released updated software for its Alteon Switched Firewall System.

The products underlie a growing realization that tight integration between running a network and maintaining security will become increasingly important. Security companies and network equipment makers already have moved toward simplifying the management of increasingly far-flung networks.

Cisco Systems, IBM and Check Point Software have introduced products and services with similar strategies.

Nortel said that Alteon Security Manager allows multiple security devices--its Alteon Switched Firewall products--to be controlled by a single device that serves as a common interface.

"Alteon Security Manager underscores our unified security architecture philosophy," Atul Bhatnagar, vice president of Ethernet switching at Nortel, said in a statement. "To be truly effective, network security must be comprehensive across the infrastructure, and it must enhance the performance of the network."

Alteon Security Manager configures and manages software across different security platforms, Nortel said. It also provides automatic alerts of network security issues while tracking network capacity, throughput and bottlenecks.