Symantec Offers SMBs a Better Sense of Security

Firewalls, VPNs, intrusion detection are becoming as common in the business vernacular as balance sheets, P & L statements and chart of accounts. The more your business relies on the Internet as a tool to communicate with customers, suppliers and remote workers, the more significant computer security becomes.

The challenge, of course, is that unlike a larger enterprise, most small and mid-sized businesses have the neither the time nor budget to hire consultants and system integrators to implement and monitor a security system.

Symantec Corp., in a move to designed to make your Internet access a more secure aspect of our business, today announced that is expanding its firewall appliances with integrated security line with the addition of the small business-minded Symantec Gateway Security 300 series.

One Stop Security Shopping
The product is built to be an all-in-one solution for companies without on-site technical staff, said George Sluz, Symantec’s product manager for entry level security. The two primary objectives of the Symantec Gateway Security 320 and 360, he said, are ease of use and value.

Symantec addresses the ease-of-use issue by providing wizard-based setup, 90 days of free telephone support, and LiveUpdate (which automatically downloads updates, virus definitions and so on to keep the device’s firmware current). As far as value, the 320 has an estimate street price of $341 and has no recurring licenses costs associated with it.

Sluz said that small businesses report that they are primarily looking for firewall and VPN features, but that the Symantec Gateway products go a step further to also include intrusion prevention, intrusion detection, antivirus policy enforcement and content filtering.

The security appliance, Sluz said, is aimed at small businesses that have either a broadband or partial T-1/E-1 services and Internet-sharing LANs. By securing both inbound and outbound Web, e-mail and other network traffic, the 300 Series provides small businesses an affordable and easily managed way to create a secure network, Sluz said.

Tale of the Tape
The entry-level 320 is recommended for 50 users, offers 55Mbps throughput, one WAN port and four LAN ports, browser-based access for configuring users. The 360 has an estimated street price of $531 and is recommended for 75 users, offers 60Mbps throughput, two WAN ports and eight LAN ports.

Recognizing that security is the one of the biggest barriers to adopting wireless LAN technology, both the 320 and 360 models offer a wireless LAN access point upgrade designed to allow the device to serve as a standards-based wireless LAN access point, featuring IPsec VPN tunnels from the wireless clients to the gateway.

The 300 Series also offers what Sluz describes as “enterprise class features” such as high availability/load balancing. For example, automatic dial-up backup is designed to ensure connectivity should your broadband connection go down. The 360’s two WAN ports load balance all traffic passing to and from the Internet, according to Symantec. Each WAN port can be connected to different service providers even if they each use different technologies. If a service provider fails, all traffic that was passing through the failed port automatically switches over to the working port. When both WAN connections are working, Symantec reports, bandwidth aggregation allows twice the Internet throughput.

Symantec Gateway Security 300 series will be available by the end of month, according to Symantec.

Dan Muse is executive editor of’s Small Business Channel and EarthWeb’s Networking & Communications Channel.

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