WatchGuard Targets SMB With Content Security

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WatchGuard is aiming for the SMB with a content security appliance launch that touts basic security features at an affordable price point, giving partners yet another way to hit up their smallest, cash-strapped customers before the New Year.

Just in time for the holidays, unified threat management firm WatchGuard Technologies Inc. is rolling out an ensemble of content security appliances aimed squarely at the SMB.

The Extensible Content Security (XCS) appliances come in the XCS 280 and XCS 580 models, both of which are heavy on value. The lines entail similar features and up to 50 percent performance improvement, but come with a lower price than previous models.

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The solutions provide a centralized management dashboard that enables partners to oversee security options and create reports for auditing. They have instant access to the Seattle-based firm’s LiveSeurity Plus with offers 24/7 Web or phone-based support services.

Targeting the SMB, the 280 and 580 appliances contain ease-of-use features that gives small organizations the ability to conduct their own self-help services. The solutions’ Data Loss Prevention Wizard, ReputationAuthority and Web security subscriptions fill in administration and IT gaps for SMBs, equipping them with the ability to troubleshoot problems and keep security systems maintained and running.

WatchGuard is debuting five XCS models in all, which span a range of sizes and incorporate a suite of security functionality like e-mail security, Web security and data loss prevention.  The solutions defend against the spam, viruses, malware, blended threats, spyware and network attacks, touting the ability to block 98 percent at the perimeter.

"With increased security threats targeting small and medium-sized business, it is essential for business owners to keep their important and sensitive information safe," said Roger Klorese, WatchGuard director of product management. "The WatchGuard XCS solution provides the Web and e-mail content security, management and reporting features that SMBs need to maintain the highest level of security and defend against attacks."

For partners, the appliance launch represents a way to make inroads in the SMB and gain ground with their smallest customers by touting basic, no-frills feature sets at an affordable price.

The release represents a return to WatchGuard’s core SMB market base. In recent months, the UTM firm has made headway in the enterprise with a series of upmarket roll outs. Earlier this spring, it revamped its entire line of networks and security products as virtual solutions, which held the potential to give the firm entry with enterprise and larger market segments.

Also over the summer, WatchGuard strengthened its XTM devices by giving its operating system, Fireware XTM, a facelift. The launch was followed by a performance enhancements to its UTM devices that ramped up throughput, manageability and ease of use and put it on better footing with larger customers.

While WatchGuard has made concerted efforts to go toe-to toe with enterprise focused competitors, the SMB is where the firm has played well. It’s likely that, while the firm has taken aim upstream, it doesn’t want to stray far from what it knows.

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