The real deal on plug n' play security appliances

Scott Sidel exposes the truth about plug n' play security appliances.

This presentation by Information Security columnist and technical editor, Scott Sidel, was given at Information

Security Decisions Spring 2005.

Vendors are offering every form of security application as a purpose-built appliance or preinstalled hardware. Firewalls, AV, IDSes, VPNs, content filters and more are all available in hardware and software form factors. Vendors say that appliances offer greater reliability and performance, easier installations and lower costs of ownership. The truth is much more complicated. Appliances do offer plug n' play functionality, but they're not always less costly than software running on generic hardware. Likewise, appliances often deny enterprises the flexibility of customization and can result in higher maintenance costs.

Choosing an appliance over software isn't a cut-and-dry matter -- don't go it alone. Let Information Security columnist and technical editor, Scott Sidel, show you the differences in appliances and software implementations. Scott cuts through all the hype and gives you the knowledge to avoid the pitfalls of poor purchasing decisions and select the best form factor for your enterprise. In this presentation you will learn:

  • Differences between appliances, pre-bundled hardware and software
  • Myths associated with security appliances and software
  • Hidden tips for assessing your company's performance needs
  • Common mistakes enterprises make when purchasing and implementing appliances -- and how to avoid them
  • Best methods to compare and assess appliance and software implementations

View this presentation


This was first published in May 2005

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