HP Advances its Security Agenda

By Gretchen Hyman

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Hewlett-Packard started off the week with a security agenda.

Indicating a strong bent toward ramping up security offerings for adaptable corporate computing environments, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company unveiled a cluster of new security products and services at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Calif.

First up to bat, HP introduced two new security installation tools, the HP-UX Bastille v2.0 for the HP-UX 11i operating system and the new Install-Time Security tool.

Both products are intended to streamline the technical and administrative aspect of locking down UNIX host servers.

The Install-Time Security tool allows customers to choose the degree of lockdown security during installation from pre-set security settings, which are then configured by HP-UX Bastille v2.0.

During HP-UX 11i installation, IT personnel answer a series of questions regarding security and functionality which are designed to provide the appropriate level of security based on system usage, including firewall and password policy configuration.

According to HP, Install-Time Security configures many security settings without the time-consuming process of answering security questions and automatically pulls in additional security software.

HP also announced that the HP-UX 11i operating system has received Common Criteria Certification EAL4-CAPP.

Common Criteria Certification was put in place by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Association (NSA) as a security mandate for key system technologies used by federal agencies, such as operating systems, firewalls, smart cards, database systems, network devices, virtual private networks, and Web browsers.

On its agenda for the RSA Conference this week, HP plans to unveil Check Point Edition, the HP firewall/VPN server that is designed to secure servers running the Linux operating system.

In the networking arena, HP will release its HP Atalla Secure Configuration Assistant, a set of tools designed to configure and manage security keys into HP Atalla Ax100 Network Security Processor products.

HP will also announce the HP Atalla Trusted PrintMail Center, an integrated, secure solution for the in-house distribution of sensitive data, identification numbers, or cryptographic components.

Other announcements and demos are expected to include the HP Utility Data Center for virtual provisioning of security resources; HP OpenView for consolidated, real-time security event management; HP-UX Host Intrusion Detection in real time; HP-UX LDAP integration with Windows 2000; HP ProtectTools for data protection and controlled network access for notebook PCs; and HP Security Review Services for protecting wireless networks.

HP also has its hands in a few other pots this week, including that of the Bank of Ireland.

HP announced at the start of the week that HP Services has been selected by the Bank of Ireland as its supplier of choice for IT infrastructure services.

HP has been providing the Bank with operating systems and server solutions since 1974, but this new contract marks the most wide-scale initiative to date for the Bank of Ireland to minimize the operating costs of its IT infrastructure.

The deal is not yet finalized, according to HP, but the seven-year contract is reportedly valued at $600 million.

If all goes HP's way, the contract would involve the management of the Bank's desktops, midrange servers, mainframes, networks, output and printing, and facilities.

The contract would also include customer support and consulting, the company said.