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Freemont Avenue Software

Houston company keeps networks safe.

These days companies can’t afford to have a relaxed attitude about IT security. Firewalls, filters, and network monitoring tools have all become essential to maintaining a company’s IT infrastructure. We recently spoke with Jim Livermore, CEO of Houston-based Freemont Avenue Software, about how his company is helping businesses keep their networks on the defensive and safe from intruders.

What does Freemont Avenue Software do?

FAS develops and markets Internet security software and services. FAS has a worldwide network of resellers and distributors.

When and how was the company founded?

In 1993 I was ready for a challenge, and with a former colleague, I started looking around for a good software idea and decided on firewalls. We formed Livermore Software, the marketing arm of our company, in 1994.

What are some of the products you offer businesses?

The Portus Internet security suite is our main product. Portus is a highly integrated enterprise security suite that combines the functions of a firewall, Web cache, content filter, remote administration and an extensive network reporting utilities. Portus was the first firewall to offer a high-availability configuration (99.999 percent availability), which translates to less than six minutes of unscheduled outage per year. Some of our clients demand five lines availability because they tell us the cost of a firewall outage would exceed $250,000 per hour. These capabilities are integrated into our solution and do not require the installation of additional third-party software packages that could compromise security.

We also offer the Portus-ES system, which is a turnkey hardware solution that has the ease of installation of an appliance without any loss of security or functionality found in other firewall appliances. Portus-ES solutions can meet the needs of small businesses as well as the largest commercial and government organizations in the world.

We also offer remote firewall administration service, in which we install, configure, test, and administer the firewall for the customer. This includes the creation and distribution of daily, weekly, and monthly reports.

Can any type of business use these products?

Portus is used by a broad range of customers. It is in use by customers with fewer than 15 computers as well as customers with ultra-large networks, where it protects more than 100,000 users. One installation uses PORTUS to protect more than a petabyte (a million gigabytes) of online storage with a value of billions of dollars. Some sites have 4GB-or-greater-gigabit network interfaces on a single firewall in order to transmit up to 10 terabytes of data per day. Our smallest customers enjoy the same level of security as our large corporate, government, and manufacturing customers.

What’s on the horizon?

FAS and our Australian distributor GCS are initiating a certification of the Portus Network Security Suite to level EAL4 of the Common Criteria. Portus is the first firewall that conforms with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Traffic-Filter Firewall Protection Profile for Medium Robustness Environments. This level of certification is required for the protection of DOD mission-critical systems. Certification at this level is so rigorous that Checkpoint, the market leader, withdrew its product from the process. FAS will be introducing new Portus-ES products this quarter to meet the ultra-high performance requirements of government agencies. These systems will offer unequaled security and unequaled performance that exceeds 8Gbps with less than five minutes of unscheduled outage per year.

Finally, we are porting our firewall to the New Intel 64-bit processors.

do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to Christy Mulligan.

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