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Startup announces open source security solution

Apr 24, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Sunnyvale, CA — Protectix, a Silicon Valley startup focused on open source and Linux based security solutions, has announced ProWall, a dedicated hardware/software security solution based entirely on Linux and other open source software.

The Protectix ProWall solution consists of several layers of defense, including:

  • ApplianceOS — a security-focused embedded Linux operating system that fits within less than 20MB of Flash memory.

  • Open source security tools — a suite of security tools that offer a combination of technologies to secure the network; includes packet filtering, network address translation, SNMP event reporting, and a web-based management interface.

  • ProWall Security Appliance — a plug-and-play network firewall based on Protectix' ApplianceOS and open source security tools, available in either 2U rackmount or standalone system configurations. The device can be configured from an internal computer with a web browser, from a command line interface via the serial console, or using a Secure Shell interface.

  • Update service — an option to receive customized news, advisories, and firmware maintenance. Firmware modifications are cryptographically signed by Protectix, authenticated by the appliance itself, and authorized by the customer prior to installation.
“Protectix has designed a product that addresses the lack of adaptability inherent in today's proprietary security systems,” stated Kevin Sexton, Co-founder and COO of Protectix, Inc. “For administrators of networks both large and small, the ProWall takes the complexity and much of the effort out of setting up and maintaining a secure network.” “In light of recent attacks on E-Businesses and high-profile websites like Yahoo! and Ebay, there is a definite need for more effective Internet security solutions. Open Source software, because of its inherently secure design and adaptability, coupled with Protectix' Proactive Updates service ensures that customers are able to stay ahead of the crackers” concludes Sexton.

Open source, a core strategy

ApplianceOS is based on a Linux kernel, other Open Source tools, and programs developed by Protectix in-house. According to Protectix co-founder Sexton, instead of starting from a “standard” Linux distribution (e.g. Red Hat), the company gathered up open source components from their distribution points on the web, using them to build a unique configuration optimized to the task at hand. The company currently has no plans to offer ApplianceOS as a stand-alone product, per se. “However, for the sake of security,” says Sexton, “Protectix will release all of the software integrated into our products as Open Source.” That source code will become available for free download from the company's website in the near future.

About Protectix

Protectix, Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, was founded in October 1999 to address the emerging security needs of Internet-connected businesses. Protectix aims to become a leading provider of network security solutions through the development, contribution, and distribution of this software.

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