Thursday, May 03, 2012

Check Point Unveils Free Antivirus and Firewall

Networking security firm Check Point Software Technologies has unveiled a new free firewall and antivirus product in a move that promises to raise the company’s consumer standing while giving its brand a boost in SMB markets.

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall, available as a free download, features Check Point’s established firewall technology coupled with an antivirus engine designed to block viruses, spyware and other salient security threats.

The free consumer product strategy isn’t entirely new for Check Point. The company acquired Zone Labs, maker of personal firewall product ZoneAlarm, in 2003, and has offered free firewalls for years. However, the recent move puts renewed emphasis on the Israel-based company’s consumer and small-business branding at a time when APTs and sophisticated new attacks are running rampant, and organizations, especially SMBs, have fewer and fewer resources with which to adequately defend their networks.

Check Point maintains the reason for the launch is to bolster customers’ security defenses with a multi-layered approach, especially for organizations that can’t or are unwilling to pay for third-party security products.

“Most consumers are unwittingly making themselves an easy target for cyber criminals,” says Bari Abdul, Check Point Software Technologies vice president and head of ZoneAlarm, consumer business. “They lack a strong two-way firewall, are unwilling or unable to pay for security, or they just have left their security on the backburner. People are putting themselves at serious risk by not having minimum security, which at least includes a firewall and antivirus software. It’s basically like leaving your home with the doors unlocked.”

Both the firewall and antivirus functions are designed to work seamlessly and efficiently together, eliminating any compatibility problems, which ultimately simplifies the entire security experience for the customer, the company said.

And no doubt, the move puts Check Point on par with other high-profile vendors that have leveraged consumer marketing and free products and services to gain brand recognition and, ultimately, traction in other commercial markets.

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