Check Point Unveils Product For 'Active Defense' Market

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Check Point Software Technologies Chairman and CEO Gil Shwed introduced a new Internet security product called SmartDefense, billed as an active, intelligent system for warding off known and unknown cyberattacks, at a partner and user conference here this week.

The company is calling the new SmartDefense product the first in a new category of Internet security products, which Shwed dubbed Active Defense, and said it complements rather than competes with intrusion-detection and virus projection products.

Shwed said the software takes Check Point's inspection technology in its firewalls to the next level of abstraction by identifying the type and class of attack and then blocking the attack and alerting administrators.

"I think this is an excellent product. We have a lot of interest in it," said David Kieper, manager of network infrastructure for the University of Wisconsin who, like other attendees, has not yet had a chance to examine it.

Still, Kieper said that the university's firewall currently logs 100,000 to 200,000 instances of unidentified traffic a day and there is no way to determine whether any of the traffic represents valid attacks. "At this time, we only suspect there are valid attacks," he said. "A tool like this will bring it out in the open."

The SafeDefense software will be available in the third quarter and embedded in Check Point firewalls at no additional charge, the company said. Check Point, however, plans to charge an annual subscription fee to update the software for new attack threats, priced at $1,000 per year for a single gateway and up to $10,000 for companies with 100 gateways.

"It's really to me a fairly priced product," said Mark Sollazo, president and CEO of solution provider SynerComm, a Check Point partner. "This is going to be an easy sale, a slam dunk. This is a product we're going to jump on right away."

Sollazo said that while product revenue may be minimal, his company sees a lot of opportunity in selling services around it. He also said SynerComm was considering offering a managed service with the product.

Shwed said that if only 1 percent of Check Point's current customer base signs up for the subscription service, it would represent about $10 million in revenue. He said the company had no information yet, however, on how to base revenue projections.

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