The 10 Coolest Network Security Products Of 2016 (So Far)

Securing The Network

The market for network security continues to rise alongside the security market overall, but it is also starting to evolve with a host of new solutions to help companies take their security efforts to the next level. In 2016 so far, we have seen both legacy and startup security vendors launching new solutions around advanced persistent threats, threat isolation, software-defined security and the cloud. Companies also launched new systems to take enterprise-grade network security capabilities downstream to SMB customers. While the year isn't over yet, here's our roundup of coolest, and more importantly channel friendly, network security products in the year so far.

(For more on the "coolest" of 2016, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")

Versa VNF

Launched from stealth last fall, Versa Networks was formed by two former top Juniper Network engineers (and brothers) to provide next-generation WAN and branch solutions for service providers and enterprises. The result is what the company says is the first true software-defined security solution, called Versa VNF, which uses network function virtualization capabilities to create software-defined security solutions, including DNS security, secure web gateways, next-generation firewall, anti-virus, intrusion prevention and content filtering. The company has been gaining traction for its network security technology, including being named a finalist in this year's RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox competition.

FireEye Essentials

Long a stalwart of the enterprise, FireEye expanded its offerings for the midmarket in February with the launch of FireEye Essentials, a lower-cost, lower-complexity threat management platform aimed at addressing the growing threats facing midmarket customers. With the launch came a revamp of the company's partner program to incent midmarket partners and FireEye said it was looking to recruit more partners in the space. The solution includes advanced threat protection capabilities, including access to the extensive network of FireEye threat intelligence and threat detection capabilities. With the launch, FireEye maintained its original FireEye Global Threat Management Platform for enterprise, calling it FireEye Power.

Symantec Advanced Threat Protection

Last fall, Symantec dove into the hotly competitive advanced persistent threat market with the launch of Symantec Advanced Threat Protection, providing a way for solution providers and clients to detect, prioritize and remediate threats across email, endpoints and the network under a single-pane-of-glass console. The offering leverages existing Symantec technology, including the company's extensive threat intelligence network. It also incorporates cloud-based sandbox and detonation service Symantec Cynic for remediation, and cross-control point correlation tool Symantec Synapse for detection. It can also be deployed leveraging Symantec Endpoint Protection and Email so it can be installed without any additional agents. Symantec executives said the company is already starting to see significant traction for the ATP solution, with $100 million in deals already in the pipeline for 2017 as of May.

Dell SonicWall Advanced Threat Protection

Dell SonicWall also jumped into the ATP space this year, debuting the Dell SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection Service at the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco. The new system is Dell's first foray into the advanced threat protection market, providing an additional layer of protection against zero-day and advanced threats for its largely SMB customer base. It will be available as an optional subscription service on top of the Dell SonicWall appliance. The product differentiates itself by offering what Dell says is a new take on ATP protection, lacing together three sandboxing engines (SonicWall, Lastline and VMRay) to deliver a multilayer defense approach. Other differentiators include no file size limit for the cloud sandboxing service and scanning of encrypted, as well as unencrypted, traffic, the company said.

ProtectWise Cloud Network DVR

ProtectWise, based in Denver, offers a network security solution that leverages the cloud for better visibility, detection and response capabilities. The company's Cloud Network DVR software acts as a ’virtual camera’ into a company's network, providing visibility for threat detection and, in the event of an incident, full forensic capabilities. Features of the system include adaptive network capture, an unlimited forensic recording window, a flexible network coverage model, secure API access, unified data haystack across all networks, and search capabilities. The company has a 100-percent channel model and has been actively building out its partner program, with guaranteed margin incentives, deal registration, access to demo systems and more. It was recognized earlier this year as a finalist in the RSA Conference's Innovation Sandbox competition.

Fireglass Threat Isolation Platform

Launching from stealth in February after landing $20 million in Series A funding, Tel Aviv-based Fireglass offers an enterprise network security solution designed to isolate Web activity from the network, assuming all of it is bad. The Fireglass Threat Isolation Platform, available on premise or as-a-service, acts as an "air gap" between potential attacks from Web, email and documents, and the endpoint and Web applications, according to the company. This isolation approach is different from Secure Web Gateways, the company said, which for the most part rely on signatures to separate good traffic and Web activity from bad. CEO Guy Guzner, the former head of security products at Check Point Software Technologies, said the startup will focus its go-to-market strategy on the channel.

Check Point R80

Check Point Software Technologies revamped its security management platform in February with the launch of Check Point R80. The platform brings together the entire Check Point database and appliance ecosystem into a single management console, with which partners and customers can manage their entire network infrastructure, security policies and Check Point technologies. The platform also adds unified policy management, which makes it easier to segment policy enforcement into layers that can be assigned to different portions of the network, integrated threat management, and new APIs to bring in network management and ticketing capabilities.


Based in Waltham, Mass., Cryptzone is a growing network security startup that provides context-aware data protection and user access for both infrastructure and applications. While the company isn't new to the market, its technology hits on an exploding market right now for data and application security, something that has led the company to see significant growth in recent months and attract new executives to grow marketing, services and finances. Cryptzone has also been pushing big into the channel, adding former Dimension Data VP Tina Gravel as channel chief and rolling out an enhanced partner program late last year.

Trident Cybersecurity Monitoring Platform

Phalanx Secure Solutions, a Baltimore, Md.-based security solution provider, is aiming to tackle the growing threats facing the SMB markets with the launch of the Trident CMP Cybersecurity Monitoring Platform in June. Available through reseller partners starting July 1, Trident CMP is a low-cost hardware system based on a Raspberry Pi that plugs into a company's router, and is combined with a subscription service that offers network traffic monitoring in Phalanx's Security Operations Center. The system automatically alerts the SMB customer if there is a security issue that needs remediation. Prices start as low as $149 per month.

PAN-OS 7.1

Palo Alto Networks rolled out enhancements to its platform in April, adding new features around cloud and application security in the PAN-OS 7.1 launch. The new Software-as-a-Service security systems provide companies with better visibility, policy and management enforcement, and data flow through the company's Aperture solution. In particular, Palo Alto Networks extended its capabilities for Office 365, allowing for partners and clients to extend policies to securely enable Office 365 deployments. Palo Alto Network also boosted its cloud capabilities with the release, extending support to Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V and enhancing support for AWS. The company also extended Autofocus integrations into the Panorama management platform, increasing correlation between WildFire, AutoFocus and PAN-DB. Finally, Palo Alto Networks added new user credential security features, providing two-factor authentication in GlobalProtect mobile security and helping prevent phishing attacks through WildFire and PAN-DB.