A little more than three months after announcing its intention to purchase IntruVert Networks Inc., Network Associates Inc. announced its first release of IntruVert technology, a new hardware appliance that provides intrusion detection prevention to mid-size networks and corporate branch offices.

The IntruShield 1200 is a 1U rack-mount hardware appliance that will retail for US$10,995.

Network Associates is touting the device as both an intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS) device.

On the IDS side, the IntruShield 1200 offers signature- and traffic-anomaly detection capabilities that allow it to detect denial of service attacks.

The 1200 qualifies as an "intrusion prevention" appliance because it is capable of running "in-line," disassembling and analyzing the data packets and stopping attacks in "real time" as they are occurring, Network Associates said.

The 1200 uses the same technology as can be found on the high end IntruShield 4000 device and Network Associates said.

Unlike the 4000, which comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and six 100Base-T ("Fast Ethernet") ports, the 1200 sports just two 10/100 Ethernet ports and is designed for deployment in remote and branch offices rather than at the network core, the company said.

Like other IntruVert appliances, the 1200 comes with an operating system that has been hardened, eliminating unnecessary and vulnerable functionality for secure deployment, as well as a centralized Web-based interface for policy management and intrusion monitoring, the company said.

The IntruShield 1200 is the first release of the IntruVert technology under Network Associates' name and joins the IntruVert 4000 and 2600 in the company's stable of IDS devices.

The idea is to extend IDS protection out to locations such as branch offices that are vulnerable to attack, but which often lack the IT resources necessary to monitor network traffic, Network Associates said.

Also on Monday, Network Associates said that it released McAfee Entercept version 4.1 software, its host-based IDS product acquired from Entercept Security Technologies Inc. in April.

The new version of Entercept features installation and configuration capabilities that enable administrators to more easily adjust security levels for protected host systems, improving protection for high-level threats and reducing false positives on low-priority threats, Network Associates said.

Along with its purchase of Entercept, Network Associates' purchase of IntruShield in April was seen as a way for the company to boost its presence in the market for IDS technology by acquiring host-based IDS products for the data center as well as network-based IDS products for the network perimeter.

The release of the 1200 appliance also underscores the growing interest in preventative security that goes beyond signature detection to provide protection against never-before seen threats such as the Slammer worm, which appeared in January and exploited a known vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server database software.

The IntruShield 1200 will be available on August 15 from Network Associates and its channel partners. McAfee Entercept version 4.1 will ship on July 18 and is available immediately for purchase online, the company said.