Zone Alarm Pro 4 & Mail Washer 3.1 - Security Software Reviews

Hackers and crackers have become sophisticated over the past few years. (I'm not talking about the Script Kiddies who only put obscene slogans on your web site.)

Today's "advanced" crackers are finding ways to slip through your firewall and install rogue code at the application level. They no longer just scan for open ports, so firewalls now must provide not only access control, but they must also understand the behavior of the network's applications. Any traffic not adhering to strict protocol or application standards must be examined before it's allowed to enter your network.

The trick, then, is to limit an application's ability to carry malicious data.

With Zone Alarm Pro's Program Control feature you can disallow specific programs like Netscape or MS Word from accessing the Internmet or your private intranet.

A summary of the app's other features include:

Firewall:This section has a number of advanced features that include Gateway Security and Internet Connection. Can allow VPN protocols and enable ARP protection. You can block both local servers and internet servers. Custom settings allow you to block specific ougoing ports like DNS (53) or DHCP (67). You can also disallow incoming or outgoing pings.

Malicious data can also enter the internal network by embedding itself in Website addresses. For example, an email client could automatically execute an HTML-embedded link. If the Web link was malicious, damage to the newtork may occur. A Security Gateway, therefore, should block access to potentially malicious links. Zone Alarm has this, too.

The Privacy feature allows you to set cookie control, and EMail Protection quarantines attachments on the basis of their extensions.

FireTrust's Mail Washer Pro app comes bundled with Zone Alarm. Mail Washer allows you to filter or blacklist undesireable mail senders. A neat feature of this is that you can bounce their spam so they'll never know that it reached you. Ah, the sadistic glee in that! You can also add senders to your "friends" list if you think their email might be mistakenly bounced. You can build your own spam database by systematically adding spammers to your blacklist. There is also a filter option that allows you to bounce email on the basis of detecting certain words.

By: Roy Troxel

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