NetGear Unified Against SMB Security Threats

By Lauren Simonds | Posted May 05, 2009

Protecting your company against Web-based threats, i.e., malware and spam, isn’t always easy, efficient or affordable. The folks at NetGear have recently designed the ProSecure UTM appliance, a box that ties in to your network, to provide enterprise-class security without compromising on functionality or performance.

Reliance on Web technologies has become commonplace: from accessing software applications and storing data to supporting remote workers, millions of people leverage the Internet everyday to run their companies. The downside of that, of course, is the proliferation of malware, spam and viruses.

According to Jason Leung, NetGear’s senior product line manager for small business, hackers typically don’t target individuals or companies. “Hackers aren’t deliberately targeting you,” he said. “Most small businesses get hit when they inadvertently go to an infected Web site and end up pulling threats into their network.”

Small businesses are also easily tricked by social engineering and phishing scams, and tend to have open use policies that blend personal and business use of the networks. Leung added that while small businesses have the same security needs as big companies, they simply don’t have the ability or the resources to lock down the networks.

NetGear developed ProSecure UTM to address this disparity. “Because small businesses lack the resources, they’re more vulnerable, so it’s important not to dumb down the solution,” said Leung. Scanning for threats in real time takes a lot of processing power, and can slow network performance. According to Leung, big security companies often cut corners with their small business offerings, trading faster performance for less comprehensive security.

“Vendors in the security industry are hiding a ‘dirty little secret’ from small businesses – they offer solutions that use extremely limited AV signature sets or use watered-down anti-spam techniques – all in the name of speed,” said Leung.  “After all, security is difficult to quantify but speed is easy to quantify.  So, vendors opt for speed over security, and bank on the assumption that small businesses don’t know any better.”

NetGear claims that ProSecure’s stream-based scanning, which employs parallel rather than serial scanning, results in faster performance and minimizes latency. That, said Leung, combined with technology partnerships with Commtouch, Mailshell and Sophos, provide small businesses with best-of-breed Web and e-mail security technologies.

“The ProSecure UTM delivers 10 to 200 times the number of attack signatures than anyone else with no loss of performance,” said Leung. He added that the ProSecure constantly downloads new signatures on an hourly basis. “The more signatures it has, the better ProSecure will be at predicting what viruses will morph into next.”

The NetGear ProSecure UTM10 and UTM25 appliances are designed for companies with fewer than 50 people. Features and highlights include:

  • Firewall, SSL/IPSec, VPN, IPS
  • P2P and IM security
  • Anti-Malware, Virus, Spyware, Trojans
  • Anti-SPAM
  • FTP, HTTPS
  • Web Content Filtering
  • Phishing
  • 24 x 7 dedicated ProSecure support
  • Next business-day replacement
  • Code upgrades/updates

Pricing for the ProSecure UTM10 starts at $375 for the bare box. With all three subscriptions (anti-spam, malware and anti-virus) turned on, the cost goes to $550. Leung said you then pay 55-60 percent of the cost of the bare box per year, which works out to about $180-$200 for maintenance and upgrades.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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