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NetContinuum has unveiled the next generation NC-1100 Web Application Firewall (NC-1100 AF) and the Application Gateway (NC-11 00 AG). The NC-1100 product line aims to establish the application proxy as an architectural best practice in the data center with 10X the performance and 10X the ease of deployment and management of previous generation application proxies.

As organizations communicate and transact with their partners and customers over the web, they expose their web sites and applications to attack. Unfortunately, according to the FBI-CSI study published at the end of 2005, and substantiated by many well publicized incidents, for-profit attacks on web sites and web applications are dramatically increasing. Writing perfectly secure code is not a practical solution as it is very time consuming and delays deployment. Applications facing the web need to be protected, and this is where application proxies come in.

"Attackers will turn the doorknobs and rattle the windows looking for the easiest path into your environment. You've deployed solid network security products, which means today's attack vector of choice is through your applications," reports Michael Gavin in his January 3, 2006 research titled Application Firewalls - Are they Worth the investment? "What can you do about it? Application firewalls come to the rescue. Although proxy based application firewalls have been available for more than a decade, the application firewall industry is being reborn."

According to Varun Nagaraj, CEO of NetContinuum, "The application security market is maturing in 2006. The question organizations must ask themselves is changing from 'do I to protect my apps?' to 'what is the right architectural approach?' Unlike non-proxy methods that expose server operating systems and TCP stacks directly to the Internet, session-based application proxies give you complete control over your application security and improve delivery as well. With standard industry definitions emerging and next- generation technology advancements, NetContinuum believes the time is right to make the practice of proxying mainstream."

The Application Proxy Proposition

Application proxies provide comprehensive application assurance services to data center teams: securing the web applications from professional hackers and their methods, accelerating the user experience through caching, compression and connection pooling, and increasing application availability through load balancing and application health checks. The comprehensive application assurance feature set is delivered from a single point of control.

Leading customers have started taking advantage of this architectural approach. One such customer is Century Bank -- a regional Massachusetts bank with 23 branch offices within 30 miles of Boston. Comments Christopher Logan, CISSP, information security officer, "Century Bank selected NetContinuum to secure sensitive transactions and filter malicious requests through our web portal. We have since expanded those capabilities and are taking advantage of NetContinuum's sophisticated technology to secure both our FTP and Mail applications. We're big fans of application proxies and believe it's a security best practice. I am excited to see NetContinuum bringing its next generation 1100 product and new capabilities to the market and look forward to benefiting from the 1100's advanced performance and ease of use. NetContinuum has been a key component in our implementation of defense in depth."

"The NC-1100's combination of performance and ease of use will drive greater adoption of application proxies as a best practice," said Sam Pointer, IT Network Manager for Atlanta Public Schools. "Atlanta Public Schools recently made the decision to adopt this technology. We recently selected the NC-1100 to front-end the district's student grades, on-line recruitment, employee self service portal and high school mathematics applications to assure data integrity and data confidentiality. I support a large number of users with a limited staff, so the NC-1100's ability to align perfectly with our security strategy, system performance and ease of use were key factors in our decision to go with NetContinuum."

Leading analyst firm Yankee Group predicts that the market for appliances delivering comprehensive application assurance will reach $230 million by 2009 and has identified NetContinuum as a leader in that market in the December 2005 report titled, Application Assurance Platforms Arise from Web App Firewall Market's Ashes.

NetContinuum NC-1100 Next-Generation Advancements

NetContinuum is the only vendor in the industry to have achieved ICSA certification at the network and the application layer. With a custom developed software stack from Layer 1-7 and comprehensive coverage for the application security feature set outlined by the Web Application Security Consortium (WASC), the NC-1100 is the industry's most secure application proxy. The NC-1100 also addresses the key areas relevant to widespread adoption by a growing market:

1. Real World Performance: B2C and B2B sites have sustained http and https transaction rates ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand per second, but are often subject to sudden spikes in transactional rates that range from 5X-10X. To become mainstream, application proxies must provide enough headroom so that organizations can deploy it and forget about it. The NC-1100 offers price/performance leadership and comfortably handles bursts in transaction rates with ALL security features turned ON. Data Center teams also want to ensure that using application proxies actually improves application responsiveness. The NC-1100 not only has minimal latency, it typically improves the performance of the applications it's protecting by 30 to 500 percent.

2. Ease-of-Deployment: In order to achieve widespread adoption, application proxies must fit easily in various networking environments while continuing to function as a full application proxy in all cases. That is, customers should not have to choose between ease of use and the benefits of an application proxy. The NC-1100 offers four application proxy networking options: One-armed proxy mode for rapid proof-of- concept, "Bridge proxy mode" for transparent deployment, Full proxy mode for address masking, and a path-breaking "Mixed mode" for large data centers that fully exploits the NC-1100's industry-leading virtualization technology. After insertion, the NC-1100 also offers intuitive "Application Wizards" to define applications and protect them with a choice of "Preset WAFEC-compliant security policies".

3. Ease-of-Management: The NC-1100 is very easy to administer on an ongoing basis and appropriate for the majority of customers. As applications change, the NC-1100 can automatically learn the changes and adjust the policies so that busy administrators strapped for time do not have to make manual policy changes. However, the NC-1100 also provides a very granular level of policy over-ride capabilities along with a "Policy Wizard" to those administrators that need it. The NC- 1100's GUI offers up a very simple but comprehensive "Application Dashboard" that provides a single console view on all aspects of application assurance: application availability, application performance, and application security. The NC-1100 makes management even easier by providing a unique "Front-End health-check" capability to failover from one system to the other at the application level with application persistence.

Pricing, Availability and Trade-In Program

The NetContinuum NC-1100 AF and AG are generally available for a starting price of $30,000. NetContinuum is also offering a special trade-in program to its NC-1000 installed base customers so they can enjoy the benefits of superior performance and ease of use.

About NetContinuum

NetContinuum Application Proxies comprehensively protect transactional applications deployed over the web. Application proxies are an architectural best practice for securing web applications in the data center, assuring application availability, and accelerating the user experience, all from a single point of control. The company was the first in the industry to define and implement such an integrated solution, and continues to lead the industry with its breadth of security features, real-world performance and ease of use. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

NetContinuum can be found on the World Wide Web at

For more information, call 202/230-2555.
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Publication:Online Product News
Date:Jul 1, 2006

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