Japanese network equipment vendor NEC is making its first foray into security software at RSA Conference 2009 with the introduction of a Web application firewall to the U.S.
SiteShell is a software platform developed by NEC and sold in Japan since last summer. It blacklists traffic determined to be dangerous based on signatures, but customers can impose a set of exceptions on top of the list to allow legitimate traffic that might appear malicious, the company says.
The company plans to sell the software through U.S. channel partners, and hopes to line up service providers to sell it as a service. In Japan NEC hosts the software itself and offers an application-firewall service based on it.
Better known here for its wide array of networking and communications gear, NEC has subsidiary software companies in India, China, and Japan. Like many equipment vendors, NEC has been hard hit by the economic downturn, and expanding the market for existing software products may be a low-risk way to increase revenues.
NEC says it has more security software such as hard-disk encryption that it may introduce into the U.S. later, depending on how well it does with SiteShell.
SiteShell is due to become available in June, and license subscriptions cost $8,000 per year with no upfront cost.