A Whale of a Gap

FreeMarkets picks Whale Communications to provide air gap security

B2B global marketplace and e-sourcing solutions provider FreeMarkets has announced that it will implement air gap technology to provide for enhanced protection of data in its B2B Global Marketplace.

"With billions of dollars in commerce flowing through our marketplace daily, it is imperative that we continually identify and implement cutting-edge solutions that can enhance the security we already provide for our customers through such technologies as end-to-end encryption, intrusion detection, TCP intercept, database isolation and multi-level firewalling," said John Benzinger, vice president of information technology at FreeMarkets. "Employing air gap technology will allow FreeMarkets to provide even greater protection against outside attacks to its network and a level of security that is currently unmatched by any other B2B marketplace."

As announced today at the IEB-Internet and e-Business Conference and Exposition in New York City, FreeMarkets has selected the e-Gap System developed by Whale Communications as its air gap platform. The e-Gap System is a network security platform that FreeMarkets will use to provide real-time access from the Internet to its marketplace and core e-business applications without opening any vulnerable holes in its firewall. FreeMarkets is the first B2B marketplace in the United States to adopt e-Gap technology.

The e-Gap System allows FreeMarkets to physically disconnect its mission-critical applications from the public Internet, yet still engage in real-time communication. It works by shuttling isolated transactions between the Internet and a company's internal network using a physical "shuttle" (the e-Gap Appliance) that sits between two servers, one of which is connected to the external network, and the other connected to the internal network. The e-Gap System's software also provides stringent application-level control and content checking.

"The transition to e-business raises serious concerns about the level of enterprises' transaction security," said Richard Stiennon, research director, Network Security at Gartner. "Because any disruption to e-business transactions represents direct losses, it is critical that the strongest defenses be built around those resources. Air-gap technologies provide a heightened level of security for mission critical e-business resources."