Security vendor Check Point
will unveil next week a new security consulting arm and
announce new versions of its flagship FireWall-1 software and
remote access software.
Another security firm, Secure Computing, said today
that it has divided its network security consulting force into four
specialty practices to identify risks, create enterprise security systems,
provide technical support, and train customers and install software.
The emphasis on security consulting comes as prices for firewall software
erode. However, it also reflects both the complexity of enterprise security
issues and the new revenue that consulting offers. In addition, consultants
often recommend products, serving as a potential distribution channel.
Professional security services have been a focus for other firms in the
sector too. When Network Associates
acquired firewall firm Trusted Information
Systems earlier this year, Network Associates said the TIS consulting
arm would reinforce its service offerings.
Likewise WheelGroup, an intrusion
detection software firm purchased by Cisco
Systems, had a strong consulting practice. Axent Technologies also has a sizable
security consulting practice in addition to multiple software offerings.
Secure Computing's network assessment service includes penetration testing
to identify vulnerabilities. The security architecture practice will work
on virtual private networks (VPNs) and make recommendations about
public-key infrastructure (PKI) issues for handling digital certificates.
Check Point's professional service unit, based in Dallas, will offer
technical support and training services for the company's security,
bandwidth management, and network infrastructure software as well as for
integrating partners' software. The division also includes the Check Point
Emergency Response Force (CERT) and, through other firms, arranges
outsourced security services.
For the first time, Check Point also is offering customer support directly
to end users. Support had previously been handled exclusively by its
The unit, with 25 employees today, is projected to reach 80 specialists by
year's end. Former Network Associates executives Tony Reed and John Patrick
are running the operation.
Check Point's new security software, FireWall-1 version 4.0 and SecuRemote
4.0, together can be used to set up VPNs. The products will be available in
the third quarter, with FireWall-1 version 4.0 priced at $2,995 for under
25 nodes and at $18,990 for unlimited nodes.