More On Network

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2003-03-17 Print this article Print

-Based Protection"> More On Network-Based Protection On my own network I use Ositis Softwares Winproxy 5. Its the only affordable product I know of that provides both network-based firewall and network-based antivirus. The annual antivirus definition subscriptions are also very reasonably priced—about $10 per client per year, depending on how many you buy. Im not entirely happy with Winproxy, and perhaps its biggest weakness is that they do not support VPN connections from the Internet into the local network. Plus, it requires a computer to run on, and appliances are so much simpler and cheaper.

Its tempting, once you have network-based protection, to think that client-based protection is a waste. In one sense, it really is a "belt-and-suspenders" thing, but I know from personal experience that its worthwhile. Over the years Ive had relatively few virues get through the Trend antivirus scanner in my Winproxy box, but a few have, and they have all been blocked by the Norton antivirus at my clients. Theres no doubt in my mind that its a very good idea to have network-based antivirus, and its essential to have client-based antivirus. And if you follow this strategy, make sure to get the two products from different vendors.

In all honesty, I cant say the same about firewalls. If you have a network-based firewall, theres a good argument to have client-side firewalls, too, but its a harder case to make. The scenario that youd want to watch for would be if some sort of Trojan Horse snuck through the antivirus protection and ran on one of the clients, attacking other clients inside the network. If it communicated outside to the Internet it would have to get past the network firewall.

Most of these products are not designed for consumers, so you may need more expertise than you expected. In fact, especially for a business, you should probably get a consultant to help. If somethings worth doing, its worth doing right.

Security Supersite Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983.

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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