Symantec Unveils New Firewall Appliances

The Symantec Gateway Security 320, 360 and 360R appliances are designed to deliver security and networking capabilities to small and midsize businesses at an affordable price, said George Sluz, product manager for the Symantec Gateway Security 300 series. Pricing for the new products runs from $400 to $750.

"We have designed these [devices] with enterprise-level solutions that work best for small businesses," Sluz said. "For years, small businesses have thought that VPN and firewall were enough to be secure. But with this device, we're showing them that they can have more without breaking the bank."

The Gateway Security 300 appliances secure inbound and outbound Web and e-mail traffic as well as LANs, and Symantec's LiveUpdate technology ensures that the appliances get the latest firmware improvements, Sluz said. Also available for all Gateway Security 300 models is a wireless LAN access point that enables the appliances to function as connectivity hubs. The WLAN add-on lets customers establish secure IPsec VPN tunnels from the wireless clients to the gateway.

Craig Heilman, executive vice president of professional services at Inacom Information Systems, a Madison, Wis.-based Symantec partner, said the secure WLAN add-on, in particular, caught his attention because many of his customers have cited security concerns as their main reason for not adopting WLAN technology.

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"In the small-business world, customers typically are not being provided with the information they need to understand how these devices can protect them," Heilman said, adding that most of his customers have fewer than 100 employees. "With integrated appliances like the [Symantec Gateway Security 300 units], they can get everything they need to make informed choices."

Heilman noted that the new Symantec appliances also offer built-in 10/100 Mbps Auto-Sense network switches that provide local Ethernet LAN switching for devices that need to share the gateway connection with the network, as well as the Security Gateway Management Interface, which allows Internet-based local or remote access for full management of individual units.

In addition, all three appliances offer automatic dial backup to guarantee Internet connectivity in the event that the primary broadband connections go down. The Gateway Security 360 and 360R models also have dual WAN ports that can be used to aggregate bandwidth and double Internet throughput.

"Our goal is to make these [devices] foolproof," Sluz said, adding that the new devices have eliminated fans and disk drives, which historically have been troublesome. "High availability is the name of the game."

Sluz said the appliances are slated to ship to channel partners in late April. Every purchase also include 90 days of free telephone support, he added.