OPSWAT is adding security certification to its resume with a new program aimed at verifying the interoperability of endpoint applications and network security products.
Called the OESISOK Interoperability Certification Program, the initiative is meant as a seal of verification that the endpoint security tools you've deployed work with network infrastructure you have. A host of vendors have already signed on to the program, including F5, Cisco Systems, Trend Micro and 3Com.
The program is an extension of OPSWAT OESIS, an open framework for developing tools to detect, assess, manage and remediate features of a wide range of endpoint security applications. The OESIS framework supports integration with hundreds of endpoint security applications from over 70 vendors, including Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, CA, ESET, Sunbelt, Avira and SOPHOS, company officials said.
For now, membership is available to anti-virus vendors, but will be expanded to cover anti-spyware, personal firewall, anti-phishing, hard disk encryption, VPN and other application software.
"OPSWAT is agnostic in the larger picture," said Benny Czarny, CEO of OPSWAT. "So while many vendors are not willing to work with one another toward interoperability for competitive reasons, they will embrace a certification program that ensures their end-users ultimately benefit."
Click here to listen to an eWEEK podcast about locking down endpoint apps.
A lack of interoperability equals an opening for software identity vulnerabilities, Czarny explained. "[If] customer X is using an anti-virus, Y this, and the version has not been OESISOK verified, this means that every anti-virus Y user using this version will not be able to be detected and managed by Cisco NAC, Juniper SSL and 1,000 other products," he said. "This will prevent the end-user customer to log on to the network. If the customer [is] patient he will wait for the product to be OESISOK verified, if not he will not he will choose a different vendor."
The program provides endpoint security application vendors with increased branding and higher levels of security for their customers, company officials said.
Hari Krishnan, product manager for F5 Networks' FirePass SSL VPN product, said his company's partnership with OPSWAT and the OESISOK program helps F5 channel partners sell the FirePass product. The certification offers an instant measure of compatibility—F5 doesn't have to partner with every anti-virus vendor and channel partners don't have to go through the tedious process of ensuring that F5's products are compatible with each antivirus product, Krishnan said.
John Pescatore, an analyst with Gartner, said the program will appeal to the smaller vendors, but may not be of interest to the bigger players in the security market.
"This is pretty useful for the little guys, like say BigFix or Lockdown or the other smaller security vendors that have agent software, [but] it doesn't really help the big guys like Symantec or McAfee because you already trust them when they say, 'we work with F5 and Cisco' etc.," he said. "The little guys are generally who license OPSWATs technology anyway—they use it to interoperate with Checkpoint OPSEC and Cisco Network Admission Control and Microsoft Network Access Protection, etc. because the little vendors can't afford to develop all that integration on their own."
Check out eWEEK.com's Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK's Security Watch blog.