By now, it is a given that the most widespread viruses are passed through e-mail, and that e-mail gateways are essential to a network's security. However, there are few products that target the small to medium-sized businesses with hardware-based gateways to provide protection -- most such specialized firewalls are aimed at enterprise-class networks.
Seeing an opening in the market, Network Associates, Inc. (NAI) has announced the availability of the McAfee WebShield e250 anti-virus appliance, which is designed to deliver virus protection for companies with up to 500 desktop users. The company claims this to be the first high-performance gateway anti-virus appliance for small and medium businesses.
The appliance resides near the business' Internet gateway, and scans all major Internet protocols (both inbound and outbound) at the network boundary, including HTTP, SMTP, FTP and the POP3 e-mail protocol. NAI asserts that the WebShield can scan more than 30,000 SMTP messages per hour. Coverage of all these protocols is specifically intended to stop viruses which use multiple methods of propagation, such as the Nimda worm.