What's the First Security Product You Ever Used?

Remember when there were only a few security products to choose from? Today there are thousands – some good and some snake oil. All these products have resulted in security tool overload for many organizations.

This overload started me thinking about the old days of limited choices and got me a bit nostalgic. So, I decided to date myself by writing about the first security products I ever used. For me, there are three key products that stand out.


One of the first security projects I ever worked on was “hunting down” unauthorized modems. I used a free product called ToneLoc which ran under MS-DOS. If you ever conducted war dialing in the 1990s, you probably remember it well. 


Around the time I was war dialing, I started getting into network vulnerability scanning. My product of choice was another free solution called Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks or SATAN

I ran it from a SPARCstation 1 from Sun, which at the time when I used it was still pretty dated. Come to think of it, SATAN is actually what forced me to learn Perl. 

Check Point Firewall

Finally, there was the “Big Kahuna” – Check Point Firewall. Let’s not forget Check Point’s dreaded “fw putkey.” If you used Check Point in the early days, you remember it well. They’ve since thankfully done away with putkeys. 

For the firewall, I actually got an upgraded server from the one I was running SATAN on. My company gave me a SPARC 1+ to build out a firewall to protect our DMZ. That’s right, I got the “plus!” And, besides the built-in NIC, it had an additional NIC so I could have two network zones!  Many an hour was spent on the Phone Boy website troubleshooting firewall configurations in those days.

So, what’s the first security product you ever used?

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