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PLANO, Texas – IT security needs to be a multi-faceted, dynamic, evolving process for it to work, according to most experts. EDS here is giving CUs a firewall product that has about as much of that as possible in one product, says the company. EDS has teamed with Astaro, Burlington, Mass., to offer its Security Linux all-in-one IT security solution that combines firewalling, stateful packet inspection filters, Virtual Private Network support, anti-virus, content filtering, application-level proxies, load balancing, user authentication and more in one box running on Linux. Linux? Not the most popular system for CUs, but that doesn’t matter, according to EDS, because the system is running on its own box independent of the CU’s systems. Buddy Baxter, technical delivery manager for EDS, said Linux can be a powerful tool in the security market because of its open source. “What they (Astaro) have done is taken a Linux kernel and customized it. In this market the open source has to be very dynamic and quick to move to any security issues,” said Baxter. EDS will install an Astaro Firewall on an EDS-certified server at the CU. EDS will go on site to do the install and setup process for about $850. Pricing of the software is based on number of workstations the CU is running. Baxter said some CUs, incredibly, still don’t have a basic firewall. “Some out there are unprotected. They just have a router from their ISP,” said Baxter. An ISP’s router is woefully inadequate for any CU with an always on connection, said Baxter. “It (the router) is just strictly a decision to pass the traffic; it’s not truly looking at each packet,” said Baxter. He said that would be equivalent to a CU making a new back door at the CU, yet not securing it. The Astaro product doesn’t only restrict what’s coming in, but also what’s going out, so the CU can ensure employees aren’t visiting inappropriate URLs. It also logs all the activity. Steve Schlesinger, general manager of Astaro, said the Linux code is cheaper based on open source, allowing new functionality to be added to the product as issues arise. “Security is never the same. Everyday there are new threats that come about. So if a new virus comes out, how quickly we are able to patch our system and update our customers is critical,” he said. Astaro doesn’t sell its product directly to companies, it forms partnerships with key players in different industries and sells through them. [email protected]

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