Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Jim Hansen, Shelly Palmer, Rishi Bhargava, Allwyn Sequeira

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Cloud Security

Linux Containers: Article

The Astaro Security Gateway 320

The good news is that Astaro makes it easy to protect yourself with a family of security gateway appliances

If you're responsible for network security, then you know that yours is a job fraught with worry over spam, network intrusions, viruses, and internal hazards like rogue servers, internal malicious activity, and web surfing control. The good news is that Astaro makes it easy to protect yourself with a family of security gateway appliances. The ASG320, its model for mid-sized business and enterprise divisions, packs a high-value punch. It doesn't take a string of Linux servers to set up a security infrastructure, just a single appliance that's certainly a more economical solution. The ASG320 is more than a firewall since it provides network segment configuration, intrusion protection, packet filtering, and an IPSEC VPN configuration toolset.

Initialization and setup of the ASG320 is a snap with a Web interface similar to many home office-style wireless routers. The Astaro WebAdmin management platform lets you get going immediately. In minutes, passwords are set, the license files are uploaded, and the configuration is ready to be customized. The ASG320 allows for complete control in configuring internal- and external-facing network interfaces and system users. The network services section comes with several common protocols already defined on the default ports, and a clean and simple utility for defining custom services.

As might be expected, the ASG320 provides configuration interfaces for routing, DHCP, and NAT and provides a traffic accounting utility. The accounting information and local logs can be browsed or queried through the ASG320's intuitive log query utility, which lets you highlight or filter information by time span and/or message type.

The Intrusion Protection System (IPS) on the ASG320 recognizes attacks automatically and blocks them before they can reach your network. A key feature of the IPS is its Portscan Detection. Many attacks begin as would-be intruders scan networks to find which services are available. The Portscan Detection feature detects these scans and alerts you to the potential attack. The IPS also provides severity-based alerts and notification. The system recognizes and records detected and blocked packets and sends alerts based on your configuration so you can make adjustments based on incoming or outgoing traffic. Powerful exclusion policies can be created through the Advanced section of the Intrusion Protection interface. Here you can customize performance-tuning parameters for common server connections such as HTTP, DNS, SMTP, SQL, or Telnet.

The ASG320's Packet Filter provides great flexibility in setting up firewall rules. The ASG320 blocks all packets by default, and requires you to define which packets can pass. Commonly needed settings and utilities such as SYN rate limiting and the definition of ICMP policy are handled with ease.

Virus Protection on the ASG320 is achieved via content filters where the ASG320's Proxy Content Manager scans passing e-mails for potentially dangerous or unwanted content. The offending messages are identified and blocked automatically. Through the Proxy Content Manager these messages are deferred or quarantined, and can be subject to automatic cleanup. The Proxy Content Manager can also be configured to send you a daily spam digest.

The ASG320 provides an IPSEC VPN toolset. With the IPSEC VPN configuration area, you can configure the types of connections that your network will support, policies for those connections, and local and remote keys with which those connections authenticate. Additional features include configuring L2TP over IPSEC connections and CA management so you can manage your own X.509 Certificate Authority. Here the ASG320 extends well beyond the notion of a firewall simply as a packet filter. IPSEC VPNs can create complex management and the ASG320 simplifies and centralizes that management.

While it was pegged with internally simulated traffic and nakedly exposed to the ravages of raw Internet traffic, the ASG320 sang. It detected ping and port scans and dozens of simultaneous connection attempts during the test. Forensic analysis of the system logs revealed attacks consistent with well-publicized viruses, but the sources were stopped dead. The ASG320 handled the traffic and reported attack bursts as expected, while suffering only slightly from the immense load it was operating under. Its intrusion protection and packet-filtering features performed as needed in an enterprise network.

The ASG320 comes with several management utilities to simplify administration. With its configuration backup utility you can save or upload your ASG320's configuration, or configure the system to mail the file to a specified e-mail address with the option of encryption. The ASG320 lets you update virus definitions, system patches, and security features using its System Up2Date service. SNMP access and traps are available services, as is remote system logging.

If you're worried about the ASG320 being a single point of failure, fear not for it comes with integrated high availability. High Availability Menu is configured with the first ASG320 set in Normal Mode and the second in Hot Standby Mode. Besides the data transfer connections, the standby system can monitor the active system via a serial interface.

Conclusion
With a rich interface, and a completely configurable host encompassing thousands of functions, the ASG320 can still make it easy to secure your network. It's designed for the data center and appears to benefit from a design driven by requirements that most data center managers would expect. System management, intrusions detection, packet filtering, and virus and spam protection are provided in an economical package with little management required beyond the initial configuration. Considering the price and functionality combined with ease of use this is an excellent solution for the small and medium-sized data center.

See Sidebar

More Stories By Matt Frye

Matt Frye is the Review Editor at Linux.SYS-CON.com, and Engineer in New Product Introduction and Emerging Network Solutions at Tekelec.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
LinuxWorld News Desk 07/17/05 01:25:42 PM EDT

Product Review: The Astaro Security Gateway 320
If you're responsible for network security, then you know that yours is a job fraught with worry over spam, network intrusions, viruses, and internal hazards like rogue servers, internal malicious activity, and web surfing control. The good news is that Astaro makes it easy to protect yourself with a family of security gateway appliances. The ASG320, its model for mid-sized business and enterprise divisions, packs a high-value punch.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and attent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.