Check Point Software Technologies Revamps Entire Platform Under Single Management Console

Check Point Software Technologies is reimagining the way customers and partners interact with its solutions, unveiling Tuesday the launch of a new, next-generation security management platform called Check Point R80.

The Israeli security vendor announced the R80 at the 2016 RSA Conference, running all this week in San Francisco.

The new security management platform brings the entire Check Point database and appliance ecosystem to a single management console, on which partners and customers can manage their entire IT infrastructure, security policies and other Check Point technologies.

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"It's a total rebuild of the whole environment," Jane Goh, head of product marketing, security management, said in an interview with CRN.

In addition to a single management console, the new R80 platform adds unified policy management, making it easier to segment policies enforcement into layers that can be assigned to different portions of the network.

Goh said the new management platform is designed to be more extensible and scalable, with APIs to bring in network management and for ticketing, and to change management solutions. The platform makes it possible to control and limit what level of control third-party systems have, she said.

"The trend that we're seeing is automating more and more security controls," Goh said. "We're hoping that this will pave the way toward end-to-end security control automation."

Finally, the new R80 platform adds integrated threat management, which before operated on its own platform. Goh said that gives customers and partners the ability to see a security alert and quickly drill down to trouble shoot using all the power of the Check Point platform.

As the usage of cloud and connected devices rise, Goh said, security is getting increasingly more complex. She said R80 launch is designed to tackle that trend head on, helping companies simplify the management of a complicated security landscape.

"We feel that a lot of different trends are disrupting enterprise security today and we want to build a platform that will help our security teams deal with the security challenges that are being thrown at them and those that will be coming down the road," Goh said.

For partners, Goh said there are two big opportunities with the new platform. First, Goh said, partners can play a critical role as trusted advisers to help their enterprise clients simplify their security environments. In doing that, she said, partners can help security be an enabler of business, rather than a policy enforcer. Second, she said, partners can use the solution themselves in outsourcing, helping to manage customer security solutions through a Web portal using APIs and scripts.

"I think partners will definitely have a huge role," Goh said. "This is something we're evangelizing [about] with both partners and our field folks to get them up to speed with how to upgrade our existing install base."

Sanjay Bhandari, senior security engineer at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Marvell, said he has been working with Check Point for almost 20 years. He said the new management console is a big upgrade, in particular that it allows his team to centralize its operations and really drill down when needed.

"R80 is a spectacular enhancement and improvement from what was existing. This gives us the ability to look at the whole enterprise in one place," Bhandari said.

The impact of that is that it is much easier to implement security solutions across the business, and visibility has grown, Bhandari said. He said it is also significant to be able to have administrators working simultaneously on problems, which was not possible in the past.

Steve Moran, director of infrastructure support services, said he has seen the same sort of benefits at Golden, Colo.-based Talisys. Moran said he was involved with customer interviews and has since built an R80 in its ecosystem.

"There are some things in there that are really going to change how we're going to manage our security," Moran said, citing as examples the ability to have multiple administrators working at the same time and to change policy update procedures, and having a single management console.

As Talisys has built its entire backup and disaster recovery solution around Check Point solutions, Moran said, this update will make a huge difference in how it manages its security portfolio.

The platform officially launches Tuesday and will be generally available in the beginning of the second quarter, Check Point said.