Small to medium enterprise (SME) businesses looking to DSL as a solution to their broadband needs need to be aware of the security implications of any such move, yet the kinds of products aimed at enterprise level customers are often too expensive for SMEs to swallow.
Auckland-based Yellow Tuna is about to release a hardware solution to what it says are the three main problems faced by smaller businesses going broadband.
"They're security, usage and traffic management," says Yellow Tuna co-founder Simon Gamble. Yellow Tuna's YBox is a solid state device that is designed for SMEs and so is easy to use.
"Often these guys don't have an IT person on staff or if they do it's someone who's comfortable with PCs and desktop support but not configuring a router."
Gamble says the key to the YBox is that it is simple enough for none technical staff to deploy and can be remotely managed should the need arise.
"We're talking to a number of ISPs about selling it as part of a bundle with their JetStream service, that kind of thing." Gamble says the ISPs are struggling to make money out of JetStream and this kind of "value add" could be a boon to their business.
"It's good for the end user as well because you can set the limit for each month and get a warning email about getting close to your maximum traffic usage. You can also set it to disconnect you if it gets beyond a certain point."
Gamble says this kind of functionality will help protect users from denial of service attacks or repeated attacks from an email virus, for example. Users can also manage their usage this way, especially uploading files which some users inadvertently switch on when setting up peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software.
For larger companies the YBox can be used as the secure router at the branch office, for example.
"A large company could have a $50,000 IPSec router at their head office and one of these at the branch or remote location. That way they can build a secure VPN environment for remote workers."
Yellow Tuna decided to build a hardware solution after helping SMEs fight the battle of managing an "always on" connection using Linux.
"We've been installing Linux on servers behind firewalls for lots of customers and we thought it would be good to put it all together in a package."
The YBox price will vary depending on support plans and reseller agreements, but Gamble says the bare bones retail price will be $1250.