With Mitchell Ashley, CTO and VP of Customer Experience at StillSecure [www.stillsecure.com]. The company recently announced the availability of a Windows VMWare version of Strata Guard Free, a freeware version of its intrusion prevention system.
Question: Why provide a system like Strata Guard Free?
Ashley: Our objectives with Strata Guard Free are twofold. First, to increase the adoption and use of intrusion prevention technology through a very easy-to-use IPS and, second, to contribute to the security community by providing a freely available product. IPS is rapidly becoming a staple for securing networks, but many organizations are cautious about IPS because of some of the barriers others have experienced. IPS can be costly, take a significant amount of effort to tune, and can be a challenge to learn and operate. Strata Guard Free aims to combat this perception... Strata Guard Free is a feature-rich IPS built upon the widely used Snort IDS engine, and offering it as a free product is our way of saying thank you to everyone who has contributed to making Snort what it is today.
Question: What's the advantage of offering the system via virtual appliance?
Ashley: It's all about making the process extremely streamlined for anyone interested in getting up and running immediately on Strata Guard Free because there are no installation and configuration requirements. Virtual appliance technology is becoming so popular because the user can bring up a new computer system instantaneously … you don't need a dedicated computer to run the product. Users can download the VMware version and start to use it immediately as one virtual appliance image on a Windows or Linux computer, in a lab or on the network. If you later decide to install Strata Guard Free on a dedicated server, that can be done easily as well.
Question: Do you expect user response to the Windows VMWare version to be different from response to the Linux VMWare version?
Ashley: The large number of downloads we experienced with the Linux VMware version told us very quickly that VMware makes it effortless to evaluate and start to use Strata Guard Free. So we immediately began work on the Windows VMware version. Now users with a Windows computer can download Strata Guard Free and begin using it immediately without a dedicated computer. The network and security communities are pretty diverse with both Windows and Linux machines, so offering both just makes it that much more flexible. If the response for the Windows download is anything like the Linux VMware version, we'll see a lot of users taking advantage of this full-featured IPS.
This 3 Questions originally appeared in a weekly report from IT Business Edge.