Product Reviews

Computer Associates eTrust Firewall 2.0

Computer Associates’ latest firewall product, eTrust Firewall 2.0, attempts to address two issues plaguing many of today’s NT-based firewall products: scalability and interface portability (using Java). Computer Associates’ approach involves separating the firewall into four distinct segments: Firewall Engine, Admin Server, Admin Client, and User Client. Once the firewall is segmented, administrators (using an Admin Client) should be able to modify any firewall security policy (on an Admin Server) and then distribute it to any number of Firewall Engines. The User Client is needed only if you aren’t using native OS authentication, which is supported.

I found that the problem with eTrust Firewall manifests itself the first time you load the Admin Client. The Admin Client is a Java application and runs as if the processor is drowning in molasses. But if you’re patient enough to trudge through the interface, you’ll find it’s actually quite intuitive and features a Windows Explorer-like look and feel. As for features, eTrust Firewall is a bit sparse compared to other firewall products. It appears Computer Associates doesn’t want this product to overextend itself or overlap with other product offerings such as Computer Associates’ eTrust VPN or eTrust Intrusion Detection.

Computer Associates eTrust Firewall 2.0

The documentation included with Computer Associates’ eTrust Firewall includes helpful screen images, such as this one describing security policy deployment and customization. (Click image to view larger version.)

eTrust Firewall contains solid NAT support, extensive reporting, and a wide array of access control features. It’s obvious, with its distributed management system, ability to segment, group IP ranges, and seamless support of DMZ configurations, that the product is designed for large enterprises. eTrust Firewall is a good fit for shops looking for a solid, no-frills firewall designed with enterprise management features in mind.

About the Author

Chip Andrews, MCSE+I, MCDBA is a software security architect at (Clarus Corp.). Chip maintains the (sqlsecurity.com) Web site and speaks at security conferences on SQL Server security issues.

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