New Security Products Unveiled At Comdex

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Biometric solutions, Web filtering software and firewall technology were among the types of security products showcased this week here at Comdex/Fall.

Saflink, Bellevue, Wash., announced a new version of its SAFsolution Enterprise 1.1, which provides biometric authentication for Microsoft's Active Directory. The software supports a variety of biometric devices from 15 vendors, including fingerprint, voice, iris and facial recognition technologies.

The new product provides VARs, especially ones who are Microsoft Certified Partners, with a lot of opportunity, said Greg Jensen, CTO at Saflink, Bellevue, Wash.

"As Active Directory is getting adopted, organizations are looking for solutions to secure their network that haven't been practical in a pre-Active Directory environment," he said.

Demand for biometrics is poised to grow in 2003, driven by industry-specific legislation such as HIPAA, which requires the healthcare industry to implement strong security solutions, Jensen said. Plus, the U.S. government is putting a lot of money behind biometric solutions, he said.

Biometric authentication solutions offer relief from passwords, which are a headache for companies, Jensen said. Some organizations have employees with 27 passwords, he said.

"Passwords result in a huge increase in help-desk calls," he said.

Security Software Systems, meanwhile, introduced enhancements to its content monitoring and filtering software.

The Sugar Grove, Ill.-based company added new features to its Cyber Sentinel Network product that provide enhanced reports and the ability to designate users and groups and their access to the Web. Cyber Sentinel Network filters inappropriate material on the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging and Windows applications.

The vendor also unveiled new features for its Policy Central product, which takes snapshots of an employee's inappropriate computer use. The features provide administrators with in-depth reports of employees' computer usage and allow employers to create in-depth employee profiles.

Dan Jude, president of Security Software Systems, said the company's technology is different from other filtering and monitoring software because they filter more than the Internet and e-mail.

"Our application allows us to monitor anything going on the desktop," he said.

On the firewall front, Miami-based Intego, which makes a personal firewall for Macintosh, unveiled its first personal firewall for Windows. The company said its NetBarrier 2003 combines a firewall, privacy protection, and monitoring tools to protect both home and corporate PCs. The product operates with Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP.

PowerWallz Network Security, Vancouver, British Columbia, announced its new ProShield V1000 firewall appliance for branch offices, telecommuters and small and midsize businesses. The product features a configuration utility that makes it easy to install VPNs.

A spokesman for PowerWallz said the company sells direct but may consider selling through the channel in the future.

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