Check Point Software Technologies is giving customers the option of extending the security features in its on-premise software and appliances to Amazon's cloud computing platform.
The cloud service announced Wednesday is priced the same as Check Point's on-premise software, which starts at $2,000 for a perpetual license. "It's like bringing up another security gateway," Fred Kost, head of product marketing for Check Point, said. Amazon charges a separate monthly fee for its infrastructure-as-a-service platform.
Check Point sells a number of security products, including firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, URL filtering and data loss prevention. All the functionality available through Check Point's on-premise software will be available on Amazon, Kost said. In addition, customers can use the vendor's management console to deploy the same rules and policies in the cloud.
Check Point users who bought their original licenses from channel partners will have to go back to the same vendor to purchase the Amazon license to activate the service. The advantage of the new product is the ability to add cloud applications to the corporate network and use the same security platform. "For any of our customers looking at the cloud, this is their top concern," Kost says.
Ron Frederick, senior solutions architect for Dallas-based security reseller M&S Technologies, said a few customers were using Amazon Web Services, with one also using Check Point. All of the companies were large businesses either using Amazon as a data warehouse or to provide non-sensitive information through a corporate Web site. "I don't know of anyone right now of our customers who are using it for proprietary information that they would not share with the general public," he said.
In general, security provided by Check Point and presumably competitors in the future is an important step in expanding the use of Amazon and other cloud-based platform providers. "Check Point is a name that a lot of people trust, so I certainly think it will let people leverage the cloud-based services to host more of their infrastructure," Frederick said.
While getting a boost from security vendors, Amazon will still have to convince customers its service is reliable, following two major outages last year that downed the Web sites of major customers, such as Foursquare, Reddit and Netflix. "It's still up in the air whether people will truly trust them completely," Frederick said.
Check Point is particularly strong within large corporations, counting the majority of the Fortune 500 and Global 500 as customers. The latest product is expected to appeal to any of these customers looking at Amazon as a cloud platform. Check Point also sells security services that the vendor hosts and manages for customers for a starting price of $19 a month.
The Internet security market has become intensely competitive, as an increasing number of companies look to cloud computing to reduce hardware costs and software maintenance. Check Point competes with well-capitalized players Cisco, Juniper Networks, Symantec and Microsoft, as well as smaller companies, such as Sourcefire and Fortinet.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based Check Point is largely dependent on channel partners. In 2010, nearly 60 percent of sales came from the company's 10 biggest distributors, according to Zacks Investment Research.