Juniper Updates Firewall Security Features

AppID technology lands in Juniper's firewalls, but don't confuse it with the Cisco technology that has a similiar name. 

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jun 27, 2014
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Juniper is updating its security portfolio this week with new software features for the SRX hardware portfolio. The software features are primarily being bundled into Juniper's Junos operating system, used across the Juniper hardware portfolio.

Alex Waterman, senior director of product management at Juniper Networks, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the updates include the Junos 12.1X47 operating system release, which runs across the full SRX product line. There is also an update to Security Director, the Junos Space application that provides centralized management and reporting for the SRX. The third security update is the Junos for Firefly Perimeter update (specifically Junos 12.1X47), to support the Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) feature set.

As part of the update, the SRX hardware can now directly integrate with Microsoft Active Directory without additional agents, in order to provide user-role specific firewall policies.

Junos Space Security Director can now provide a central management facility for physical Juniper SRX and virtual Firefly Perimeter firewalls and provides integrated logging and reporting.

Another key feature being brought into Juniper's security portfolio is the AppID engine that helps to identify applications. The Juniper effort should not be confused with a similiar technology from Cisco, called OpenAppID. Cisco announced OpenAppID earlier this year as an open-source effort to enable application identification for its SourceFire firewall portfolio.

"Juniper’s Application Identification (AppID) engine is our own and part of AppSecure," Waterman said. "Like our IPS signatures, our AppID signatures are also open, such that customers can tailor signatures for their environment."

Waterman explained that for instance, a customer with a home-grown application can write an AppID signature to detect this application and include this signature in the signature database of the SRX.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is part of the mix too. Waterman said that security services represent a critical component of Juniper's Contrail SDN solution.

"Firefly Perimeter is the virtual offering of our NGFW platform that enables us to deliver security capabilities and services that provide simplified and coordinated security policy enforcement across physical and virtual infrastructure," Waterman said. "This includes many of the new NGFW features of this announcement, like IPS and UTM."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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