An Internet gateway in the office used to be confined to universities and major corporations. But prices are coming down as usability rises, and Border Network Technologies Europe Ltd has launched an off-the-shelf Internet firewall server that runs on a desktop personal computer using Unix, with a graphical front-end, and starts at ú4,000. Border, based […]
An Internet gateway in the office used to be confined to universities and major corporations. But prices are coming down as usability rises, and Border Network Technologies Europe Ltd has launched an off-the-shelf Internet firewall server that runs on a desktop personal computer using Unix, with a graphical front-end, and starts at ú4,000. Border, based in Slough, Berkshire, is a subsidiary of 18 month-old Toronto-based Border Technologies Inc, a network products and services company, which changed its name from Seachange Inc. The Borderware Firewall Server is an Internet gateway and security system with a tweaked version of Berkeley Software Distribution Unix thrown in. Peter Cox, managing director of Border Europe, said that it was designed to protect an internal network from the Internet; not the other way round. Somewhat unsually, Borderware runs on Intel Corp 8086-based systems. This was chosen because of the relatively low cost of such machines and the availability of local hardware support, according to Cox. The server offers Simple Mail Transfer Protocol mail, World Wide Web access, domain name services – which converts network names to network addresses – file transfer protocol, Telnet and news services. As security is one of the main selling points, Cox believes that the system employed is totally hacker-proof. To prevent unauthorised remote access, Borderware uses an encryption system from CryptoCard Inc of Toronto. This uses an eight-digit personal identification number, which when sent to the firewall receives a one-off password back. The card encrypts the password, and the encrypted version must match the one on the firewall to gain entry. The system comprises what Cox called a hardened Unix, a security system on top and the proxy server with all the applications on top of that. The Unix is hardened because the IP forwarding code has been removed – it’s not just a router, said Cox. It is not enough simply to disable it, as that could easily be reversed by a hacker. Similarly, the source routing code, which tells IP packets where to go, and the Internet Control Message Protocol re-directs that suggest different routes for packets, have also gone. This is to prevent outsiders from changing the internal network configuration, Cox said. Two versions of Borderware are available on either CD-ROM or Digital Audio Tape, although the system specifications are identical. The version for up to 25 users – known as Fortress Web Server – costs ú4,000; up to 1,000 users is ú7,000, and an unlimited licence costs ú11,000. The CryptoCard comes separately at prices from ú70 each including software, with reductions for volume orders.