Wholl Fill the Gap

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2005-08-09 Print this article Print

in the Gateway Security Market?"> Lets take Barracuda Networks for example. Their explanation of how their antivirus scanning works makes it clear they work as a proxy. The site indicates that it uses two scanners, but the only one I can find a name for is ClamAV, the open source antivirus, so I would assume that they are not licensing one of the big three.

In fact, ClamAV is a particularly interesting problem, at least if Trend Micro decides to pursue it. ClamAV has become somewhat popular among the "roll your own gateway security" crowd, and I think its fair to say that ClamAVs main application is as an SMTP proxy. I would be surprised to see Trend go after ClamAV itself, and the ITC wouldnt be the place to do it, but I wouldnt be surprised to hear that letters have been sent to some of the other commercial redistributors of ClamAV, such as Apple. Large numbers of hosting services and ISPs also use ClamAV to scan mail, and many companies and educational institutions use it internally. It would be nuts and pointless for Trend to go after such users.

But its not just ClamAV of course. The ePrism Email Virus Scanning Appliance and Astaro Security Gateways integrate the Kaspersky engine. Panda Softwares own GateDefender appliances may have problems, and its not like they can just decide to license McAfee instead. Some companies, such as CipherTrust, offer licensed AV products like McAfees as alternatives with the unlicensed, Authentium and Sophos in CipherTrusts case.

Actually, the problem is not so much for companies like Kaspersky and the people who write ClamAV, but for others who sell these products at the end of the channel. Fortinet was a special case in that they write their own antivirus software and sell their own appliances, but in the case of Astaro it is they, and not Kaspersky, who imports the potentially infringing product and therefore has a problem.

Consider that the big business market for gateway antivirus is already dominated by the big three and youll see that whats at stake here is the SMB market, where Trend is a newbie. They have no products in that space and only a few licensees, such as Juniper Networks Netscreen devices. Perhaps they have some new products on the way.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. He can be reached at larryseltzer@ziffdavis.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.

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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