A New Hope
Yesterday, like many people around the world, I watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Unlike many of my friends, I watched it on a regular television. Sure, the CNN/Facebook integration was a cool idea, and I actually did Tweet and Facebook during the speech, but given the number of people trying to watch this, this is one time where broadcast TV rules and the lack-of-multicast on the Internet sucks!
As there is a changing of the guard at the highest office in the United States, another change of leadership is going on–at work. I am, of course, discussing the pending sale of Nokia’s Security Appliance business to Check Point. In many ways, it affects me a lot more directly than the changes in Washington DC.
Unlike President Obama when was President-Elect, where it seemed like there was daily updates on choices for cabinet positions and the like, nobody can really say much publicly about the transition I and a lot of my present and likely future co-workers are going through. Nobody can until the deal is officially completed.
I think I can safely say that I, personally, am ready to get started at Check Point. I see tremendous opportunities for the business as a whole as well as for my own career. My aspirations in VoIP, mobility, mobile phones, and other things aside, computer and network security has been a constant in my life. Check Point’s a leader in that space, and unlike many vendors, Check Point actually has a comprehensive portfolio of products that enable end-to-end security, including endpoint security.
Back in 1993, Check Point began selling the nework firewall under the name FireWall-1. In 1995, they added VPN capabilities to the firewall. In 1996, we saw the beginnings of what is now called Unified Threat Management. In 1998, they created Provider-1, a management console for use with managed service providers. In 1999, Check Point created a company called SofaWare that provides embedded security software solutions for small business and branch offices. Other solutions like Check Point GX and MASS are geared specifically at mobile network operators.
While, arguably, all of those products are merely extensions to the core Firewall-1 product (now called VPN-1), it does show that Check Point has solutions for just about every place you can think of putting in a network firewall. This is good, of course, but it’s only one part of the end-to-end security equation.
For the endpoitns, Check Point has ZoneAlarm for consumer Windows desktops, Endpoint Security agents for enterprise Windows desktops, Full Disk Encryption (formerly Pointsec) to encrypt the drives of Windows, Mac, Linux machines, and mobile phones, and IPS-1 (formerly Network Flight Recorder) for intrusion detection/prevention.
It’s easy to get lost in all these products, the number of which will grow somewhat once the acquisition of Nokia’s Security Appliance business closes. The reality is, all these products help enable total end-to-end security in a heterogeneous environment, at least to the extent it is feasible. The integration between these products will only get better over time.
I think Check Point has a great story to tell. My “new hope” is that I will be able to share more of this story with you as I am integrated into Check Point.
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