Check Point 4800 Appliance review

We exclusively review the new 4800 security appliance and round up all its latest features.

Price
£17,000
  • Gaia unified OS; Wide choice of software blades; High performance; Extensive reporting facilities
  • Complex range of reporting tools; Can present a steep learning curve

Since its acquisition of Nokia in 2009, Check Point has always had two disparate security product ranges with Nokia's IPSO running on one family and its own SPLAT (Secure Platform) running on the other. In a move that's been long overdue, Check Point has released its Gaia OS which amalgamates everything under one roof.

In this exclusive review we look at the new 4800 Appliance the flagship of Check Point's mid-sized business solutions. This 1U rack appliance has eight Gigabit ports, 4GB of DDR3 memory and an internal 250GB SATA hard disk for storing image backups.

We found the Gaia web interface far more accessible than previous versions.

It offers maximum raw firewall and IPS throughputs of 11Gbits/sec and 6Gbits/sec respectively. Upgrade options are extensive as you can double the amount of memory, fit a redundant PSU and use the expansion slot to increase the number and variety of Gigabit ports.

 The new Gaia web interface provides full access to all network settings for Check Point's security appliances.

The Gaia interface

Previously, Check Point's web interface only allowed you to manage basic network settings. Gaia changes all this. Essentially, all OS and network settings are now managed from the web console and security functions are handled through the SmartConsole apps.

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We found the Gaia web interface far more accessible than previous versions. You can access so much more than before with options to configure network interfaces, all system management, alerting and log settings, advanced routing and user access security.

For lab testing we wanted a DHCP server on the LAN side which can now be configured from Gaia whereas previously we've had to use the CLI Sysconfig command. There's a lot more information as well with the home page keeping you posted on the status of all blades and warning if automatic updates have failed.

SmartDashboard is used to create and deploy security policies and enable the various software blades.

The SmartConsole Suite 

Check Point's SmartConsole is used to manage all security functions and the entire suite can be downloaded directly from the Gaia interface. This includes the SmartDashboard which provides a neat row of tabbed folders for easy access to each blade and is used to create, verify and deploy security policies.

The sheer number of reporting tools can initially be quite daunting. SmartEvent shows policy activity for each blade which includes real-time views and graphs plus timelines that can be used to identify threat trends and anomalies.

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