Check Point unveils network security tool

The device is aimed at protecting companies' internal networks from fast-moving threats such as the MSBlast worm.

Robert Lemos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Robert Lemos
covers viruses, worms and other security threats.
Robert Lemos
2 min read
Security firm Check Point Software Technologies announced Tuesday a network device aimed at protecting companies' internal networks from fast-moving threats such as the MSBlast worm.

Called the InterSpect internal security gateway, the device inspects data moving over a local-area network, identifies unauthorized behavior, and blocks malicious attacks, said Mark Kraynak, manager of product marketing at Check Point.

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"Blaster didn't come in through the perimeter," he said. "It came in on a laptop that connected to the internal network. The network didn't have break points."

InterSpect is the first tangible sign of a shift in strategy that Check Point announced in November. The company, best known for its external firewall software, said it would start to offer internal security products and devices to protect Web applications.

InterSpect's features include the ability to divide a company into security zones that can be separated from each other in the event of an attack; data inspection to block worms from spreading between groups in a company; and extensive support for the most common protocols used in internal networks.

The InterSpect device is only the second Check Point-branded network appliance offered by the company, which has historically focused on producing the software that other companies place in their products.

Kraynak stressed that software designed to protect against threats external to the network are not as effective as a firewall aimed at working inside the network.

"It is best practice to not let Microsoft network packets across your perimeter, but inside you need it," he said.

Digitally cordoning off networks has proved to be an effective way to prevent some attacks, such as worms, from spreading. Business adoption of that tactic, plus sales to new customers, will expand the market for firewalls to $2.5 billion worldwide in 2005, according to estimates from market researcher Meta Group.

"I see a lot more customers intent on using firewalls in a lot more places, like between business units," Mark Bouchard, senior program director for technology research at Meta Group, said in a December interview.