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Gold: Juniper Networks vGW Virtual Gateway, Juniper Networks Inc.
While it may be hard to categorize the many types of products available to support secure use of enterprise cloud computing, it wasn't hard for Information Security magazine readers to pick their top cloud security offering. By an overwhelming margin, readers selected Juniper Networks Inc.'s vGW Virtual Gateway as our first-ever gold medal winner for cloud security.
The vGW Virtual Gateway is a software package that is installed as a virtual appliance on a cloud-based virtual OS instance. According to Juniper, it offers an integrated stateful inspection firewall, intrusion detection, compliance monitoring and enforcement, as well as on-access and on-demand antivirus scanning. It also is compatible with VMware Inc.'s vCenter, and uses the VMsafe APIs to conduct detailed inspections of each VMware VM in a virtual cloud environment.
Juniper trounced competitors in two key categories: scalability and centralized management. The product's Web-based central management console focuses on providing real-time information about virtual machines' operating and security status and can be used to define rules and manage policies to support role-based administration. Juniper also touts its ability to scale to manage security across multiple groups of VMs in the same physical location and across multiple distributed data center environments.
Expert market reflection on category dynamics:
"Companies often don't even know what Software as a Service applications are in use. Products that give enterprises control over SaaS applications themselves, that's where the market is heading."
-- Rick Holland, senior analyst, Forrester Research
Silver winner: Symantec Email Security.cloud, Symantec Corp.
Messaging security systems have proven to be one of the first IT functions enterprises transition to the cloud, and foremost among those products is this year's silver medalist. By redirecting email message traffic through the Symantec Email Security.cloud hosted service (formerly MessageLabs), enterprises can take advantage of Big Yellow's four-pronged set of security functions: antimalware, antispam, content filtering and email encryption. Survey respondents gave Symantec high marks for its scalability, and its ease of installation, configuration and administration, conducted via a smartly organized Web portal. It supports the major messaging platforms from Microsoft, IBM and Google, as well as any SMTP-compliant mail server.
Bronze winner: Symantec O3, Symantec Corp.
Symantec also seized this year's Cloud Security bronze medal with its Symantec O3 cloud information protection platform. The product is a cloud software gateway service that facilitates single sign-on access to a multitude of authorized cloud and on-premise Web applications. Symantec touts O3's ability to create and easily manage access policies at the user, group, network and device levels, block pre-defined data types from entering cloud systems, and provide data encryption (either policy-based or on-demand). Managed via the Intelligence Center SaaS application, the system collects and reports on cloud access and security events to support, compliance, audits and forensics.