Review: SmartCenter provides tool you can use

Information Security magazine explains why Check Point's security management tool is "tight."

SmartCenter
Check Point Software Technologies
Price: Starts at $14,000

Security managers are hard-pressed to keep up with the proliferation of firewalls, VPNs, endpoint controls and other security tools across highly distributed organizations. Check Point Software Technologies' SmartCenter has graphical tools and an underlying server that create a powerful environment for building, managing and verifying the security topology of Check Point's growing security portfolio.

Objects representing physical and logical aspects of the network are created and managed in the Smart-Dashboard with an easy-to-use GUI. Objects representing various network nodes, interconnections and rules can be cloned and shared across security tools.

Through SmartCenter, security managers control all aspects of security policy and function--defining firewall rules and managing VPN groups, etc.--for central and branch offices and remote workers.

Version control is simple, and reverting to previous versions is straightforward; the analysis functions allow managers to verify the correctness of a policy before it's applied. SmartCenter also allows admins to respond quickly to security-related events by terminating active connections and blocking further connections to and from specific IP addresses.

SmartCenter can manage log information, verifying proper functioning of access control and key exchange mechanisms and troubleshooting. Reporting tools are easy to use and summarize data from Check Point's logging and other OPSEC-compatible devices for later analysis; reports are easy to create.

SmartCenter is packaged with the basic Check Point firewall, and additional firewalls can be managed from the initial SmartCenter server. For Check Point shops, SmartCenter provides a usable and straightforward way to manage a vast array of network elements.

This product review originally appears in the September 2005 issue of Information Security magazine.

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