Check Point Targets New Security Products At SMB, SOHO Market

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Looking to expand its reach beyond the enterprise market, Check Point Software Technologies this week plans to introduce three new security software solutions designed for small businesses, branch and home offices.

The software scales down the enterprise capabilities of Check Point's products to meet the needs of the SMB market, which are affordability and simple management, said Chip Schooler, senior product evangelist at Check Point.

Check Point releases Next Generation technology for small offices.

"[Moving into the SMB market is a logical step for them," said Simon Lewis, CEO of security services firm Dataway, San Francisco. But meeting the needs of different markets is a balancing act, he added. Check Point has strong brand recognition in the enterprise and likely will succeed in tailoring its products to target the low-end market, he said.

To that end, the company will roll out a Next Generation (NG) version of its VPN-1/FireWall-1 Small Office product, which is designed for companies with more than 25 employees.

The software provides firewall protection, as well as site-to-site and remote-access VPN functionality, and supports Check Point's management console. New features include broadband support and Web-based management for ease of use.

The product is designed to operate on appliances from Check Point partners. Celestix Networks, Intrusion, Nokia and VPN Dynamics are offering devices pre-installed with the Small Office NG. Pricing for the Celestix device starts at $999. As a stand-alone product, the software costs $500.

Through its SofaWare subsidiary, Check Point will release Safe@Home Pro and Safe@Office, which feature Check Point's Stateful Inspection technology, some VPN capabilities and support for up to 25 broadband users. Both products currently are offered on the SofaWare S-Box through service providers as a managed service. Pricing for the device starts at $399.

Customers that want to manage either Safe@Home Pro or Safe@Office themselves soon will be able to purchase them as stand-alone products from solution providers, a company spokeswoman said.

Todd Barrett, network sales manager at CPU Sales and Service, a solution provider in Waltham, Mass., said Check Point's best opportunity with its low-end products is to market them to its existing enterprise customers as an inexpensive, easy-to-manage security option for branch and remote offices. "Most people have the mindset that Check Point is a great product at [the top of [the ladder. But they would be hesitant to put it into people's hands who aren't security experts," he said.

Check Point faces stiff competition in the SMB market, including Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SonicWall, which is trying to expand to the enterprise market.

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