Line of Firewalls - Page 4

By Lynn Haber | Posted Oct 7, 2000
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There's no shortage of providers for managed firewall services. ISPs, hosting vendors, and security vendors are all jumping into this market space. In fact, many vendors in this technology area provide managed services, as well as products, for companies who want to assume in-house responsibility for the firewall.

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Coming from the Internet security space, for example, is DefendNet Solutions Inc., a Providence, R.I., company, that offers a suite of security products. The vendor also tailors its solutions to different size organizations. DefendNet DSL is for small and home offices, DefendNet MT was designed for the mid-tier company, while DefendNet Enterprise addresses the needs of large organizations.

DefendNet product features include 24/7 managed security; vulnerability assessment, Web site filtering; monthly usage/trend reports; remote access and encryption; unlimited users; and, four- hour parts replacement. The vendor also recommends firewall technology to its customers and specializes in firewall equipment from about half-a-dozen leading vendors.

According to Vincent Giordano, president and CEO at DefendNet, a 100-user shop can expect to pay below $10,000/year for managed firewall services, which translates to roughly $800 or less per month. Of course, the savings any company reaps depends upon the infrastructure it needs to support. So, for example, the 100-user shop would probably pay about $20,000 for an in-house firewall solution, including firewall purchase, installation and management (consisting of about one hour a week at $100/hour for maintenance). The savings between outsourcing and owning are about 50%, or $10,000 annually.

The small business market, in particular, is one that's poised for significant growth, according to International Data Corp. (IDC), of Framingham, Mass. Revenues from this market sector are expected to reach $1.6 billion in 2000. By year-end 2000, the small business market has the lowest adoption rate for firewall security, only 14% in 2000 compared to 50% for large businesses and 41% for medium-size businesses in the U.S.

Firewalls are a requirement for doing business today. So, companies aren't asking if they need a firewall, but rather which one they need. Not only is there a broad range of products available, but many vendors in this market space, as well. The good news, says Schacter, is that companies have flexibility when shopping. //

Lynn Haber writes on business and information technology from Norwell, Ma.

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