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Thread: Checkpoint Buying Zone Labs

  1. #1
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Aug 2002

    Checkpoint Buying Zone Labs

    Checkpoint, one of the premier vendors of enterprise level firewalls, has agreed to acquire Zone Labs, one of the premier vendors of personal firewall software. Zone Labs is particularly well known among security-conscious users with no money to spend- their base-level ZoneAlarm software is available for free for personal use. For more information on this acquisition you can read this article: Check Point snaps up firewall company.

    I use ZoneAlarm Pro personally and have no issues with it, but I know a number of people have posted varying complaints about ZA and choose to use Outpost, Kerio and other freeware firewalls instead.

    I am curious whether people think this will make ZA products better, worse or simply have no effect on the grand scheme of things.

    Fixed URL for link

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2003
    I use ZA Pro as well, and similarly have no issues although I have also heard of others not liking it.

    I have to be honest, I haven't heard too much about Checkpoint. Looking at the acquisition statement there is conflicting language about a merger of the businesses (Checkpoint adding to their security portfolio) and a takeover of Zonelabs (This will be a good revenue earner).

    As with any merger / takeover it depends how ZA will be developed in the new organisation. If the original teams are left in place then it will probably be a good thing for the application and company.

    I can only worry from personal experience. Whilst working in one organisation I spent two years breaking ground in the sector and bringing in encryption for some key file transfers. I remember having to fight some battles to convince certain people of the sensibility of encryption, but was really pleased when the system was up and running and secure. My organisation acquired another organisation and, because of economies of scale, the encryption programme was frozen (let's all take two steps backward). No doubt to die a slow death in the future (I don't know, I left for better things).

    I guess it's a case of fingers crossed and we'll wait and see.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    My immediate reaction is that it ought to be a good thing (but so should Enron have been )

    Most have not heard of Checkpoint, but may well have heard of ZoneAlarm.....that is a big marketing coup.

    Anyone out there ever encountered a director/EVP who has an idea about a product/solution because " someone at the golf club told him about it"? Trouble is, you need his signature on the capital expenditure

    On the other hand, if Checkpoint screw up ZoneAlarm, they shoot themselves in the foot big time?

    They are obviously not buying out a competitor, but going for greater market awareness?

    My conclusion is that this will be good for ZA products. Checkpoint really cannot afford otherwise?


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Though I have been a user of kerio firewall for about a year or so, i tryed zone alarm a few times. I was turned off by the ease of use. I wanted a more advanced interface, something kerio gives me. I will keep my eye open for any changes to zone alarm or potentiol new products. I am always looking for new firewalls and exahusting all my choices.

    Depends how it functions and preforms.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Originally posted here by journy101
    Though I have been a user of kerio firewall for about a year or so, i tryed zone alarm a few times. I was turned off by the ease of use. I wanted a more advanced interface, something kerio gives me. I will keep my eye open for any changes to zone alarm or potentiol new products. I am always looking for new firewalls and exahusting all my choices.
    True, ZA is very simplistic to use (ideal for home users though). But the new version of ZA Pro does offer you the facility to add custom firewall rules.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Checkpoint's Firewall One is a very powerful Enterprise solution. I was privvy to it a few years back working for a car manufacturing company in the UK. The IT dept. catered to 1200 windows based users as well as 300 or so mix *nix clients. It was one of the few products I have come across that lived up to it's name.
    Let's hope Checkpoint can do similar with ZoneLab's software. Although the Pro version has had great reviews their free personal version leaves much to be desired with many people asking me for alternative free firewall software. This is by no means saying that everyone feels that way towards the free product. But it does raise the eyebrow...
    As free firewall software goes I have found in my experience, out of those who were unhappy with zonealarm freeware, most [point and click users] were comfortable with sygate's free firewall.

    I'll be watching Checkpoint over the coming year.

    Sucks to be Hugh

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Why is ti that nobody seems to have heard of Checkpoint?

    They have been the market leader in enterprise firewall/VPN software for many years and have a great product. yes they are going into something new in the PF arena, but I would see this as a positive for both sides.

    Lets put it this way. I have tried ZA in the past and swore I would never touch it again because of it's lack of advanced feature. Now I will once again consider it.

  8. #8
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Checkpoint is unquestionably a market leader in the area of firewall products; however, I have to wonder what they will be using ZoneAlarm for. I would suspect that they are going to bundle it in with their VPN client (or some unique ZoneAlarm property into their own product), much like Cisco has done with their VPN client.

    My concern with the whole thing is that when I have seen large companies buy smaller companies that offer free products, like zonealarm, is that the free product becomes no longer available. I am furthermore concerned that Checkpoint will either chose to try to inject some of their technology into the product and then you will have something that you must pay for, and something that may not be very stable in the shortterm. Or conversely, they strip out the parts they are interested in, kill ZoneAlarm entirely, and then have some other product, which we would then be expected to pay for.

    Checkpoint is a good company with a very good product line, so I hope my fears are unfounded; however, I have seen it happen many times and wouldn't be overly suprised if something negative happened to ZoneAlarm.

    I don't personally use ZoneAlarm, I did back in the earlier days but was frustrated over a lack of control. I tried PGP's desktop product that had encryption for mail, harddrive, and a personal firewall and IDS, but after having to format my system because it was too unstable and the *(#&%()** PGP desktop wouldn't uninstall, I chose Agnitum's Outpost and have been exceedingly happy with it for two years. The only problems I have ever had with it is if some other product (like Cisco's VPN client) bundle a firewall with it, then I just have to be a little careful with what is running when... Regardless, because of the simplicity of use, I do like ZoneAlarm because I can get someone that knows nothing about computers to install it, be protected, and not bug me because the firewall is beyond their comprehension...something that I wouldn't be able to get away with with Outpost...

    My $0.02 worth,

    There is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect...There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it. Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the 'why'. 'Why' is what separates us from them, you from me. 'Why' is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.

    (Merovingian - Matrix Reloaded)

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