Keeping a network secure on a large corporate scale is a full-time job for a team of IT security professionals. But when running a busy network for a small business or offsite office, there often isn't the space or money for that level of security management.
Bitdefender, a firm best known for its antivirus software, is getting into the hardware game with Box, a stand-alone network gateway that scans all incoming and outgoing internet traffic for suspicious activity. Unlike a firewall, the Box does more than allow or deny internet activity; it actively scans network traffic for known viruses and malware and can alert users to software vulnerabilities on both computers and smart devices.
This move into hardware is a bit of a departure for an antivirus software maker. As home networks and small office networks host a growing number of internet- enabled devices, security concerns multiply as everything from your watch to your thermostat wants to get on line. Rather than endlessly update its antivirus packages for every device, Bitdefender is taking its first tentative steps to setting up a security checkpoint specifically made for the "Internet of Things."
Contained in a 3.5-in. x 3.5-in. x 1.1-in. case, the Box can work with an existing network router or serve as its own wireless access point. The Box's interface is entirely app-based, with network activity and alerts delivered to an iOS or Android device. It can also manage system updates for computers and smart devices, providing a basic level of IT maintenance.
While not intended as a replacement for more expensive solutions used on larger networks, the Box can provide some level of security at a lower price. The Box costs $199, with a $99-per-year subscription fee after the first year. This covers unlimited devices, as well as future software updates.