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WatchGuard Unveils Vision of Extensible Network Security
Jun 30, 2008 (08:06 AM EDT)


SEATTLE, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- WatchGuard(R) Technologies, a global provider of network security solutions, today announced its vision of taking unified threat management (UTM) to the next level of performance, scalability, high security, investment protection and end-user choice with its vision and technology direction of extensible threat management (XTM) and connectivity solutions.

"With the increase of mobility, consumer and Web 2.0 applications moving into the enterprise, security of the network perimeter is at an inflection point, and how security is viewed, architected and managed is quickly changing," said Joe Wang, CEO, WatchGuard Technologies. "As a pioneer and award winning innovator of UTM technologies and solutions, WatchGuard is taking UTM to its next level with our XTM vision and technology direction."

In 2004 industry analyst firm IDC coined the term UTM, a moniker to describe integrated network appliances that perform firewall, gateway anti-virus, and intrusion detection/prevention services. By 2008, WatchGuard added a host of new, extensible services, such as virtual private networking (SSL VPN), advanced web (HTTP and HTTPS), application and content filtering, e-mail/spam blocking -- even security for VoIP (SIP and H.323). Now, WatchGuard readies to redefine unified threat management with its vision of extending the UTM category to include XTM solutions.

Threats are becoming more sophisticated and less conspicuous. This leaves networks vulnerable to extremely targeted attacks that include blended threats, such as phishing e-mails that include malware payloads. The challenge is to give businesses threat management solutions that not only adapt, but can proactively address future and unknown threats so that high security is always maintained.

Adding to this, most network administrators work in mixed network environments of disparate infrastructure components and solutions. For these administrators, it is imperative to have a flexible and scalable gateway security appliance that can be modified, updated and customized to meet their particular security profiles and postures.

What is Extensible Threat Management?

Extensibility means having the ability to add on to or extend. WatchGuard's XTM vision is built upon the premise that network security solutions fundamentally need to have this quality. XTM appliances must be able to proactively adapt to dynamic network environments as well as protect against the litany of unknown, future threats. With extensible protection, as businesses grow, so too does their security platform.

WatchGuard XTM stands for the extensibility needed for management and control. Network administrators do not have cookie-cutter environments. Each is unique and thus has individualized needs and concerns. WatchGuard recognizes this and builds extensibility into its management and user control features so that administrators can maximize their XTM investment to best suit their network and user needs.

WatchGuard XTM represents extensible choice. Not only do XTM appliances need to fully interoperate and support mixed network infrastructures, but they need the inherent security technology to be flexible, too. This way, administrators can pick and choose the security service that they want from the XTM device. For example, some may want anti-virus (AV) protection provided at a different source other than the gateway. Here, an administrator could turn "off" the AV protection at the XTM appliance, while maintaining full firewall, IPS/IPS as well as web content filtering at the network gateway. With WatchGuard XTM, the choice of security services is ultimately up to the customer.

WatchGuard XTM provides extensible ownership. WatchGuard leads the industry with software upgradeable UTM devices. This allowed businesses to maintain high security without having to rip out and replace older devices, giving unmatched asset protection and lower total cost of ownership. WatchGuard will continue to provide this extended life and functionality with its next generation, XTM appliances.

Lastly, the WatchGuard XTM vision opens the doors to extensible market opportunities. WatchGuard envisions uptake of a new class of managed security service providers (MSSPs), who wish to provide highly reliable, "in the cloud" managed security services to their customers. As well, WatchGuard foresees the possibility of providing a software platform, similar to that of other extensible applications, such as XML, so that third-party developers can create customized security applications that are tailor-made for WatchGuard XTM appliances.

Wang concludes, "Extensible security means giving customers unparalleled security against the next wave of unknown threats, giving customers uncompromised network management and user control, and giving customers unbridled flexibility and choice. Combining these benefits, WatchGuard is uniquely positioned to give businesses around the world the peace of mind of knowing that their networks, employees' work and data is highly secure with our XTM solutions."

About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.

Since 1996, WatchGuard(R) Technologies, Inc. has been the advanced technology leader of network security solutions, providing mission-critical security to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide. The WatchGuard family of wired and wireless unified threat management appliances and WatchGuard SSL VPN remote access solutions provide extensible network security, unparalleled network visibility, management and control. WatchGuard products are backed by WatchGuard LiveSecurity(R) Service, an innovative support, maintenance, and education program. WatchGuard is headquartered in Seattle and has offices serving North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. To learn more, visit http://www.watchguard.com/ .

WatchGuard, Firebox, and LiveSecurity are registered trademarks of WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners. Contacts: Chris McKie Jimme Peters WatchGuard Technologies 24/7 Consulting 206-613-3760 503-289-5354 chris.mckie@watchguard.com jimme@24-7consulting.com

CONTACT: Chris McKie of WatchGuard Technologies, +1-206-613-3760, chris.mckie@watchguard.com; or Jimme Peters of 24|7 Consulting,+1-503-289-5354, , for WatchGuard Technologies

Web site: http://www.watchguard.com/