Sandvine Upgrades Security Software

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Sandvine Inc.’s new Network Integrity Suite, a collection of hardware and software, helps broadband service providers protect their networks from the increasingly sophisticated malicious service attacks.

The product suite includes Sandvine’s policy traffic switch 8210, plus attack traffic mitigation and security operations software. The package is designed to help broadband service providers shoulder the cost of worm, spam Trojan and denial of service attacks on their networks.

“A new intelligence layer is required in the network to do this type thing,” CEO Dave Caputo said. “We identify traffic and apply some policy to it.”

Cable companies initially used Sandvine’s peer-to-peer trafficking software. Over time, they added various worm and spam Trojan mitigation software.

“But traffic is much more evasive,” Caputo said. “You’re seeing targeted attacks,” as spammers target individual PCs.

The new service will provide a defense against malicious traffic, ensure quality of experience and protect specialized needs of latency-sensitive applications like voice-over-Internet protocol service and gaming, Caputo said.

The application sits on traffic policy servers, such as those made by Camiant Inc. Typically, the Sandvine application server sits upstream from the cable-modem termination system, near the access router.

“We use adaptive and signature behaviors to identify traffic,” Caputo said, and put the clamps down on harmful activity. “It’s all network-based mitigation,” he said, with no software running on individual PCs.

If a cable-modem subscriber’s PC has been hijacked by a spammer, Sandvine can detect the problem and send a signal down to the modem to stop the activity.

Part of the software package also watches traffic on 30 worldwide networks, scanning for malicious traffic before it hits their clients’ networks.

The software drew an early thumbs up from some operators. “As traditional forms of mitigation are being circumvented, subscribers are expecting service providers to actively address the malicious traffic that threatens them,” Troy Cablevision CEO Dick Freeman said.