Todays security consciousness plus the current economic climate often equals networks with an increasing number of safety devices but no additional personnel to administer them. To close the gap, NetScreen Technologies Inc. at the end of the month will roll out two management applications to simplify the configuration of its firewall and virtual private network devices.
NetScreens Global PRO 3.0 and Global PRO Express make security application administration easier by allowing network managers to configure large numbers of devices from one computer. Rather than making changes to network security device by device, a manager can set a policy for a group of security devices and VPN (virtual private network) clients and rapidly respond to attacks.
At Alliente Inc., a procurement service provider in Colorado Springs, Colo., one network administrator manages between 15 and 20 firewalls, and the company expects to double its security devices without increasing the IT team.
"[Global PRO Express] will let me manage all of these [firewalls] from one console," said Gregson Siu, chief technical officer at Alliente. "Thats important to me because we plan to double our clients but Ive got a very small staff and I cannot afford to hire more people. Were a young start-up."
As security installations grow, it becomes increasingly difficult for IT personnel to manage the network on a device-by-device basis. Global PRO not only enables group policy configuration, but it also provides monitoring of security events and reporting. It configures and monitors as many as 10,000 NetScreen security systems and appliances, allowing an administrator to make one policy change that is translated to hundreds of thousands of policies. Global PRO Express is built for smaller installations of up to 100 security devices.
"The problem is that you have security systems out there growing at an exponential rate," said Chris Roeckl, director of product marketing at NetScreen in Sunnyvale, Calif. " But you dont have the number of experts in security growing at the same rate."
As the complexity of deploying security applications is reduced, so to is the potential for error that can easily be multiplied. "There is a greater possibility of human error when 10,000 rules have to be written," said Jon Shalowitz, product line manager at NetScreen. "With Global PRO 3.0, we essentially take all the grunt work away from the administrator."