Check Point Next Generation Threat Prevention Appliance
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd
Strengths: Solid feature set and easy to manage.
Weaknesses: Documentation is a little overwhelming; expensive.
Verdict: Cost and very minor documentation deficiencies mar an otherwise superb product only slightly. Still, an excellent representative from this pioneer company in the field.
This tool can be loaded with blades for firewall, identity awareness, an intrusion prevention system, as well as a SmartEvent blade - all of which can be managed from one web-based management interface. The firewall blade features the same technology that drives Check Point's FireWall-1, ensuring solid security at the gateway. The identity awareness blade provides full identity-based security policy capabilities with Active Directory integration. The IPS blade offers a full-featured intrusion prevention system to complement the firewall blade for added security. Finally, the SmartEvent blade provides a security event management and analysis platform that delivers real-time, graphical threat management data and reporting.
We found deployment and management of this appliance to be simple and straightforward. After unboxing the device and connecting it to the network, we simply had to access a web-based setup wizard to complete the initial configuration process. After the setup wizard was complete, we had a basic configuration on the appliance which could then be tweaked from the intuitive web-based management interface. Overall, we found the offering quite easy to manage via the Gaia web user interface. This interface provides easy access to all the management functions of the appliance directly in a web browser.
Aside from easy management, this solution is loaded with features and driven by a high-performance policy engine. Policy can be tailored to users and groups within Active Directory ensuring the appropriate policy and security controls are assigned as needed. Security policy can include URL and web filtering, as well as application control policies. To prevent zero-day attacks these controls are combined with a set of security functions, including anti-virus, spam protection, bot detection and a threat emulation platform.
Documentation included quick-start and getting-started guides along with a plethora of PDF manuals and administration materials. The quick-start and getting-started guides provided clear instructions on how to get the appliance up and running with an initial configuration. We found all documentation to be well-organised and to include clear, step-by-step configuration instruction and screen shots.
Check Point provides several levels of assistance available to customers via a support and maintenance subscription. Plans include standard, premium and elite tiers, which offer various levels of phone- and email-based technical aid along with onsite options and response times. Customers can also access a large online area via the website. This includes a knowledge base, user forum, product downloads, technical documentation and other helpful resources.
At a price of £18,630 fully loaded, this product carries quite the price tag. We find the Check Point Next Generation Threat Appliance to be quite powerful, but also quite expensive. Overall, we find this product to be a good value for environments that need a high performance UTM.
Prices are US-based, thus indicative only.