Security appliances

Friday, 12 March 2004, 12:56 PM EST

If you're in charge of IT for a small company or remote office, you consider your computing resources just as precious as those of your Fortune 500 colleagues. The problem is that network security is a complex art, and you likely don't have IT resources to spare for all the details. With that in mind, we tested all-in-one devices designed to give small offices and satellite locations advanced security capabilities in one box.

We requested appliances that perform at least four of these functions: stateful firewalling, on-device antivirus scanning, intrusion detection/prevention, virtual private networking and content filtering. Although it might make sense for larger organizations to have separate security devices with these capabilities, for smaller organizations, less is more and simplicity is key. In fact, simpler is often more secure no matter the size of your shop. In addition, because we focused on smaller settings, we limited the maximum interface speed--across a WAN, LAN or DMZ--to 100 Mbps.

By Hugh Smith at NWC.

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