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Network Security

December 09, 2010

Drive Network Security with Low TCO

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

How important is network security to the continuity of your business? If you are like just about every other business operating in the market, it is critical to your survival and your success. It can be a challenge, however, to enforce consistent network security throughout a large enterprise, especially if the IT staff is lacking or non-existent.

A recent eSecurity Planet piece examined this phenomenon, as well as the challenges that can arise with network security if the enterprise is made up of multiple branches with few users and no IT. A number of smaller offices may start out with consumer broadband routers as they are both cheap and easy to install. The problem is they only offer basic security and little visibility.

A better approach to ensure network security is to deploy entry-level business firewalls that will inspect all traffic and enforce policies at the branch edge. This helps to ensure greater security, visibility, control and total cost of ownership. In both cases, the decision makers need to look at initial cost versus on-going expenses and the best means to deliver true network security.

One solution offering in network security is that of the Astaro (News - Alert) RED. Positioned as a low TCO appliance, it delivers secure network access to remote LANs by tunneling Ethernet through a central Asraro Security Gateway (News - Alert). In plain language, Astaro RED acts much like a really long Cat5 cable and links a 4-port Ethernet switch to an ASG port. In ideal circumstances, the installation is a non-event and network security is assured.

Some input is often required when routers and firewalls are setup and this often happens through a wizard. You have the opportunity to establish your network security at this point. With the RED solution, there is no input required at all, so network security is assured from the word, “Go”. When the box is powered and cables are connected, all is good.

From that point on, any remote host or hub that is connected to the RED box is also protected through this form of network security. All traffic that is tunneled from RED to ASG can also be logged and inspected to identify spam, malware and Web threats. Each RED will behave as a virtual Ethernet port that will bridge up to 30 Mbps onto your LAN.

No matter the size of your company or the number of remote locations that are all using the same network, it is critical that your network security is robust. The Astaro RED offers a viable solution that will fit into your IT expertise, as well as your budget.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda

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