Winning The Shootout
Perimeter security appliances incorporate a number of features that one would typically find in a security software suite. The advantage is that setting up an appliance is just a matter of plugging the device into the network rather than having to manage one or more dedicated servers and the associated software.
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While a corporate data center may have the support staff to manage separate applications, appliances are a good match for smaller companies that don't have specialized IT security personnel. But they are also the best option for certain types of large enterprises.
We have found that it has more to do with how distributed an environment is, rather than the size of the company, said Stamp. Large retail chains like using appliances because they have many locations that have relatively small processing requirements.
The City of Encinitas uses Panda's GateDefender Performa 8100, but they do so in different ways. The appliance includes antimalware, antispam and a web content filter. It is designed for 25 to 500 users; 160 email messages per second and (SMTP); and 80 Mbps of HTTP traffic. Encinitas uses it as a frontline defense, but also runs host-based security software on all the servers and workstations.
GateDefender offered us the ability to diminish not only viral-type threats, but also significantly reduce the amount of spam we are inundated with, said Mueller. Just yesterday I saw that a staggering 73 percent of the email we received here at the City of Encinitas was spam. That's outrageous.
Before buying the product, Encinitas conducted a 30-day trial of competing appliances, and did in-house testing on both devices. Mueller preferred Panda due to its range of protection, ease of installation/uses, and the minimal amount of overhead processing time on incoming messages to the City.