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Guarding Your Systems With Guardian Digital

Constructing The Fortress

  • May 8, 2003
  • By Rob Reilly

The recent release of EnGarde Secure Linux Community Edition reminds us that there are all sorts of Linux flavors out there for the enterprise to sample. From the heavy-duty clustering distros to the sleek one-purpose versions of Linux, there is quite possibly a distribution for any specific task you might want to tackle as an administrator.

EnGarde Secure Linux, designed to be a massively secure Linux platform, definitely falls towards the more specialized end of the distribution spectrum. Its Guardian Digital makers have consistently maintained their focus on this purpose for the product, and so far, the results are coming along nicely.

But how did their idea of a single-purpose distribution take root?

"Early on, we received a call from one of our colleagues at a customer's location implementing a Windows server for their public Web services," said Dave Wreski, CEO of Guardian Digital. "Their trouble was that they hadn't taken the necessary precautions to protect themselves against the security vulnerabilities at the time. The server was hacked just thirty minutes after it was installed. The consultant for the company informed the customer, and they both chose to bring in Guardian Digital immediately," Wreski said.

Guardian Digital was started in early 1999 as an Internet security and services company. It focused on finding out what kind of problems companies were having regarding security and then addressing those problems using existing products. Sometimes products were customized to meet a client's specific requirement.

"Today we remain committed to solving business problems using open source with specific focus on security and ease of management. The Internet is evolving rapidly and new methods to manage security risks must evolve just as rapidly," he said

Many of the company's 500 customers were small businesses with very tight budgets and no IT staff. Business owners were concerned about strangers reading their email, defacing their web sites and falling victim to the same types of attacks that took down Yahoo! and Amazon.

The security improvements [over standard distribution packages] in Guardian Digital's products not only reduce the risk of cracker attacks, but also the financial risk and business downtime. The software's ease-of-management techniques also reduces the support costs, provides a consistent configuration every time and enable businesses with limited staff and experience to manage their Internet presence.

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