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November 2003

How security switches are changing the security game

How do you secure gigabit-speed traffic while keeping a lid on costs? Traditional answer: You can't. But an emerging class of security solutions may change the rules of the game. Call them security switches, intrusion prevention devices, security blades or specialty appliances. Whatever their name, it's clear that we're seeing an evolution toward dedicated hardware that optimizes security functionality into a single box, blade or chip. Architected as rack-mountable appliances with server blades or dedicated ASICs for security service modules, security switches consolidate security-specific functions (traffic monitoring, content filtering, AAA) in custom-built devices that are easily integrated into existing infrastructures. Is your software IDS dropping packets during heavy traffic? Plug in a customized appliance with ASICs dedicated to high-speed traffic inspection. Is e-mail a growing security concern? Drop a blade server into the rack that performs AV and spam filtering, as well as secure remote access. The point is that ...

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