Akonix Systems announced that it will release its new L7 Gateway, a perimeter security product designed to protect networks against the use of "rogue protocols." The new gateway software intercepts specific protocols, such as instant messaging (IM) and file sharing software, at network borders to enforce company-defined security policies.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

"We designed Akonix L7 to be a robust enterprise security platform," said Akonix CEO Peter Shaw. "With Akonix L7, our customers can secure their networks from the risks of IM and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing while reaping the benefits of these applications."

The software runs on Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 and offers policy-based control of protocol traffic, centralized management, and anti-virus content scanning. L7 uses what Akonix calls "product adapter sets," which are software-based plug-ins that let the L7 gateway interpret specific classes of protocols. L7 is slated for release in mid-June and will be sold on a subscription basis. The product will initially ship with an IM adapter set to govern IM client software such as AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The company expects to release a P2P adapter set in late summer.