Netgear’s purchase of security vendor CP Secure is starting to bear fruit,
with the introduction of the STM series of
ProSecure appliances designed specifically for the SMB marketplace. The STM
product line blocks spam, removes e-mail-borne malware and provides protection
against Web-based malware.

The STM series comes in three models: the
low-end STM 150 (designed for 150 concurrent
users), the STM 300 (for up to 300
concurrent users) and the STM 600 (for up to
600 concurrent users). Netgear looks to differentiate the STM
series from competing e-mail security appliances, such as those from Barracuda
Networks and Cisco Systems, by offering the ability to scan all Web traffic for
malware, not just e-mail traffic.

Adding another security capability can impact performance and introduce
latency, so Netgear addressed that concerns by scanning files and data streams
in parallel, which helps to keep things speedy.

Combining e-mail security with Web security is a wise move for Netgear. The
typical SMB needs both types of security and will find a single appliance
solution more economical than having to integrate multiple products to meet
those security needs. But Netgear could have gone a little farther than that
combination by incorporating an SPI Firewall
and other security features into the device. The STM
series is designed to be installed between the corporate firewall and the
internal LAN—that means a separate
firewall/router is required to protect LANs from denial-of-service attacks,
intrusions and many of the other Internet-borne threats.

In tune with the needs of small businesses, the STM
appliances use a subscription-based service to keep the security features
up-to-date. Combining subscription-based services with a hardware appliance
offers the best of both worlds to smaller sites. An on-site appliance proves to
be faster to deploy and easier to manage, while the subscription-based services
provide 24/7 protection with zero-day capabilities. What’s more, the security
appliance takes on a managed services flavor, which should increase its appeal
to solution providers servicing small businesses.