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Products of the Year: Security appliances

Information Security magazine unveils the best security appliances of 2004.

GOLD MEDAL: NetScreen-5XT and 5GT
Juniper Networks,
Rating: 85

Juniper Networks' NetScreen 5 series firewall/VPN appliances hit the bull's-eye for remote offices and broadband telecommuters; they're inexpensive and powerful enough to protect distributed infrastructures.

Network gear vendor Juniper gave its security initiative instant credibility when it acquired NetScreen Technologies earlier this year.

"NetScreen is well-positioned and well-managed, with products that are just good stuff," says a VP for enterprise security. "Its products work. They're high performing and highly reliable."

The 5XT and 5GT offer the features enterprises look for in high-end boxes. An ASIC provides accelerated firewall, encryption, authentication and PKI processing. Its stateful filtering and "Deep Inspection" engine detects more than 250 application attacks and protocol anomalies; the 5GT also features embedded Trend Micro AV protection. The appliances protect networks against worms, viruses, port scans and DoS and DDoS attacks.

The IPSec VPN supports redundant gateways, NAT traversal and AES data encryption. NetScreen PKI support includes all major certificate authorities. RSA Security's SecurID, LDAP, RADIUS and Active Directory are supported for multifactor authentication.

The appliances support 10 simultaneous tunnels and 2,000 concurrent sessions. Management is handled through a command-line or Web-based GUI, or NetScreen's Security Manager central management console. Its management dashboard highlights critical, logging and attack alerts, and features graphs and device statistics.

"NetScreen delivers as promised," says a telecom technical advisor. "We've been really putting machines behind it every week in the last year, and we're still pretty pleased after a lot of experience with it."

Rating: 77

USER COMMENT: "Nokia is a big organization and has a lot of industry tie-ins to its products. It leverages its product into other areas."

BRONZE MEDAL: Proventia M50
Internet Security Systems,
Rating: 69

USER COMMENT: "The product is best of breed and has a great feature set."


This was last published in January 2005

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