Jyri Kaljundi wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Nov 1997, Smoot Carl-Mitchell wrote:
> > I've come to believe that GUIs are really designed for the purchasing
> > managers and not for the technical people that need to use an actual
> > product. A GUI is basically packaging. They usually do not add any
> > functionality to a package, but any good marketing person will tell
> > you that flash sells, almost regardless of the underlying technology.
> There still is more than just marketing. What a good GUI sometimes can do
> is to save your time, and the time of good networking and security
> professionals is not really cheap. So sometimes a good professional using
> a graphical interface can do much more in shorter time than someone using
> just a command-line interface.
Sometimes. And sometimes, the number of clicks (or menus deep) required make
it a time-waster, too. On the issue of whether it's marketing or not, though,
I am inclined to agree that much of it is marketing. Certainly, the
development of a GUI-based app is more expensive and time-consuming. Those
efforts are presumably done with the hope that a GUI will attract a wider
customer base. Equally, however, I am not sure that using a GUI-based security
application is any less saavy than using a CLI app. (Nor does it neccessarily
show evidence that the operator doesn't know what he/she is doing.) In either
case, you are rarely - if ever - going to have the source. Therefore, you
cannot truly know whether the product can be trusted, but only whether it
serves its intended purpose. So, when your job is applying security controls
system-wide, GUI tools can come in handy and there's no reason not to use
them. But, I will certainly agree that many people purchase firewall solutions
on marketing alone. (Which is why I am equally certain that firewall products
produced by or in conjunction with Microsoft will become extremely popular.
Hmm. That says a whole lot right there. ;-)
> There are some assumptions I make with this: the person working with the
> GUI must know what is under it and what really happens with every button
> he presses. He must know how to use the product without the GUI and
> preferably have general knowledge of both the network protocols and may be
> even other vendors products.
> Still I believe with the rate of firewalls installed every day growing
> rapidly, there is a very big number of people who have bought a firewall
> solution based just on marketing. There just are not enough security
> people available.
> Jyri Kaljundi
> jk @
> AS Stallion Ltd