3Com brings intrusion prevention to small firms

TippingPoint's intrusion prevention technology is being pushed out to small and medium-sized companies

3Com is poised to spread intrusion prevention system (IPS) features across its range of networking equipment, bringing more sophisticated security features to smaller network boxes.

The company bought IPS specialist TippingPoint in January, sealing predictions of an IPS boom, and is now integrating the technology with its own range. It is generally thought that IPS, like other specialised network functions such as firewalls, will ultimately become a commodity available across the board.

3Com has promised low-end versions of the TippingPoint IPS range aimed at the SME sector where 3Com is particularly strong. "So far, TippingPoint is serving mostly Fortune 1000 companies," said Benjamin Perlzweig, 3Com's public relations manager for Europe. "We are now working together with TippingPoint to cater to small and medium businesses, and will see products emerging later on this year."

In future, 3Com is expected to integrate TippingPoint technology directly into its switches, perhaps producing specialised blades for this purpose. "We are working together on products and research and development, as well as marketing and sales," said Perlzweig.

Despite ownership by 3Com, TippingPoint products remain network-agnostic, a feature which 3Com underlines with releases about how the products plug security holes in switches from rivals such as Juniper and Cisco.