Symantec Gateway Security Appliance

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2002-05-20 Print this article Print

5300 1.0"> Symantec Gateway Security Appliance 5300 1.0
Version 1.0 of Symantecs SGSA 5300 is a good all-in-one device for securing the perimeter of large branch offices and small enterprises that need an easily configured firewall, VPN, IDS, content filter and anti-virus protection. However, the device needs a few tweaks to make it a good choice for handling most security duties for offices that must protect 1,000 or fewer users. IT managers will want to spend some time with the product on a daily basis, both to see what SGSA is finding and to do a once-over to make sure the virus and attack definition signatures are up-to-date.

Cost Analysis

Although the initial costs are a bit steep, the SGSA 5300s $51,999 list price is not out of line for the number and strength of functions it provides. IT managers should plan to build in at least 3 to 5 hours per week of ongoing staff time to monitor and fine-tune the configuration of the Gateway Security Appliance. IT departments should also keep in mind that several components, including the anti-virus and IDS signatures, carry a yearly subscription charge after the first year of included support.

(+) Puts all security functions in one easily managed box; reports and maintenance are conveniently managed with wizards and an MMC snap-in; sends alerts when serious problems are encountered.

(-) Initial configuration exposes a couple of potentially serious security compromises; product can be a single point of failure if used alone.

Evaluation Short List

•SonicWalls GX 2500
•NetScreen Technologies NetScreen 200

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    Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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