In a move to increase security levels for corporate network users, 3Com's Business Connectivity Company (BCC) has announced an embedded firewall offering designed to extend the protection provided by a conventional perimeter firewall, bringing tamper resistant security to all at-risk desktops and servers - among the most likely entry points for would-be attackers.
Dubbed the 3Com Embedded Firewall, it works with 3Com 10/100 Secure Network Interface Cards (NICs) to prevent packet sniffing, IP address spoofing and back door attacks, effectively controlling user access and filtering all traffic regardless of whether it originates from inside the corporate LAN or across the Internet.
3Com also announced plans for a secure Embedded Firewall solution for securing telecommuters and mobile travellers and other users of notebook PCs, which are among the most vulnerable equipment in a company.
"Distributed firewalls are a new innovation in enterprise security and 3Com's Embedded Firewall is a solution that could be very appealing to network users since security can be extended to every PC in the company and centrally managed," says Dave Connock, head of BCC in SA.
"3Com now designs security features into all of its desktop, server and mobile networking solutions. It provides a simple, flexible, scalable and, most importantly, secure solution for security conscious enterprises and governments."
Connock says the Embedded Firewall solution has the ability to provide tamper-resistant security to the actual endpoint of the network by embedding firewall security functions into the NIC. "With distributed policy management, it is easy to enforce and manage security policies, allowing IT managers to maintain accurate control of their network security levels."
Because 3Com Embedded Firewall is hardware based, it is tamper-resistant. Independence from the host operating system also means that it complements other security applications - such as virus scanners, intrusion-detection programs and network monitors. It also allows security policies and security levels to be associated with a workgroup - rather than with a hardware infrastructure or at the point where traffic originates.
"Even if hackers gain root or administrative control of a host, they cannot use it as a launching pad for further attacks. The NIC hardware and global security policies protects the rest of your LAN from a corrupted host," adds Connock.
From a technical perspective, 3Com's Embedded Firewall is supported by 3Com 10/100 Secure Network Interface Cards and the 3Com 100 Secure Fiber-FX Network Interface Card. These cards implement end-to-end LAN Security with standards based IPSec encryption, providing network performance, management intelligence and data security. High performance features - such as processing offloads and fibre-optic compatibility - help make the desktop more secure and available, easier to manage and faster running.