Although Apple Computer Inc.s Mac OS X firewall allows some degree of granular control over remote access—for example, users can choose to share printers and allow remote log-ins and FTP access—Open Door Networks Inc., based in Ashland, Ore., said that DoorStop X extends user control and permits more thorough security record keeping.
According to Alan Oppenheimer, the president of Open Door, DoorStop X offers improved logging capabilities over the default Mac OS X firewall.
"Logging is a critical piece of securing any machine, for both prevention and forensic analysis," he said.
Oppenheimer added, "The Panther [10.3] firewall does absolutely no logging, and the Tiger [10.4] firewall is in some ways worse, as it only logs denied access attempts but not those that got through."
Without a comprehensive log of access attempts, he said, users are not able to analyze the attacks against their computer and assess their security needs.
In addition, Oppenheimer said, DoorStop X allows users to choose selective access to particular services on their computers. "Mac OS Xs built-in firewall either blocks all access to a particular service, or allows all access," he said. "You cant, for instance, grant access to one particular machine, or to all machines on your home network."
With DoorStop, users can also allow or deny access from particular computers, Internet address ranges or an entire home network on a service-by-service basis. With the default firewall, services must either be on or off for remote users.
Oppenheimer said that DoorStop X offers quick configuration for use with Mac OS X Server. "A number of specific OS X Server entries are made available simply by checking a check box, such as Include server ports in list," he said.
Open Door has also bundled DoorStop X 1.0 with their Whos There? Firewall Advisor product. This presents DoorStop Xs logs with advice for protecting against future incursion attempts.
DoorStop X 1.0 is currently available for download from Open Doors Web site for an introductory price of $39; after August 15, the price will rise to $49. Purchasers of DoorStop X 1.0 can also get Whos There? for $59 until August 15, when the bundle price rises to $69.