Fifteen years ago this week. Trusted Information Systems delivered the Firewall Toolkit (FWTK) to DARPA. Fred Avolio and Marcus Ranum documented the early days and Fred has posted the history here. FWTK was a phenomenally successfull piece of open source software and really pre-dates the start of the modern firewall market – security was more of a collegial community then.
It didn’t take long for business demand to turn firewalls into a real market. I got to TIS in 1996 when TIS had already come out with Gauntlet as a product and Checkpoint was just starting to push this odd “stateful inspection” idea combined with gasp a graphical user interface. By 1998 TIS was gone – bought and killed by the old evil days of Network Associates.
But what goes around, comes around – as Greg Young, Adam Hils and I point out in the First Take, NAI sold Gauntlet to Secure Computing, who had already owned Sidewinder and previously bought Cyberguard, giving all the original proxy-centric firewalls a home; McAfee emerged as a major network security company out of NAI’s ashes; and now McAfee bought Secure Computing to close the circle of life.
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.