Network-1 Shelves Firewall Product

Security software company Network-1 Security Solutions , which is looking to be acquired, has discontinued its distributed firewall product and laid off staff to free up cash.

A company spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry from

“Management believes . . . that it has sufficient cash to fund its operations through 2003, although there can be no certainty that its funds will not be expended prior,” the Waltham, Mass., company said in a statement.

If a merger candidate is found, Network-1 may seek financing from third parties and/or existing stockholders.

In the meantime, Network-1 will seek a home for CyberwallPlus. The latest version of the software, introduced in July, allows IT administrators to control remote access security — a key concern as more and more users enter corporate systems from wireless devices or always-on connections.

CyberwallPlus blocks attacks that attempt to take advantage of operating system vulnerabilities, such as port scans looking for open services, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and URL attacks that try to run executable files on open, unprotected machines.

And if a user’s machine inadvertently executes malicious code such as a Trojan, CyberwallPLUS filters all outgoing traffic to protect a laptop from being used as a launch pad for attacks on other computers.

But sales have slowed to a trickle, prompting a drastic corporate restructuring. In August the company reduced staff and closed its China development office and Taiwan sales office.

It also replaced annual support contracts with a call-based help desk. In all, its workforce has been sliced by 80 percent.

While successful in stemming the flow of red ink, the moves hobbled efforts to sell and upgrade the CyberwallPlus product.