Blackboard ASP Secures Network with TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention Systems

AUSTIN, Texas – April 19, 2005 TippingPoint, a division of 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) and the leader in intrusion prevention, today announced that Blackboard’s ASP division, a leading enterprise software company for e-Education, has chosen TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) after a thorough evaluation of the top IPS products.

Blackboard’s hosting team was impressed with the ease-of-implementation, default prevention settings, and preemptive protection of the TippingPoint IPS through the automatic Digital Vaccine® update service that protects vulnerabilities prior to the emergence of an exploit. The team also liked the ability to segment the network with the TippingPoint IPS.

“We wanted to go with the leader, so we chose TippingPoint,” said Jonas Hirshfield, Blackboard’s director of infrastructure development. “It gave us one less thing to worry about. It is truly a turnkey solution. We have the IPS set to automatically download the Digital Vaccine updates with the recommended settings to block attacks. Now, when a new threat terrorizes others in the early morning hours, we rest easy knowing that TippingPoint’s IPS has a Digital Vaccine protecting us at all times.”

Blackboard administrators said they found TippingPoint’s Security Management System to be intuitive and fast. Blackboard was also pleased to have the option to locally manage TippingPoint’s Intrusion Prevention Systems from both a secure Web-based interface (HTTPS) and a secure command line interface (SSH) for full administrative control of the SMS or the IPS.

Hirshfield said they were extremely pleased with TippingPoint’s sales and support, and added that the team was on-site numerous times and fully understood the Blackboard environment. “They made recommendations based on what we needed and were also on-site when we deployed. The have taken a genuine interest in our success and have maintained a relationship even after the sale. This is hard to find and when you do, you go with it.”

“We are pleased to be working with Blackboard, and will continue to provide them with unsurpassed support and in-line IPS performance,” said Preston Lawhorne, vice president of North American sales for the TippingPoint division. “As an application service provider (ASP) for the educational community, Blackboard’s business relies on delivering an application to their customers over the Internet. Therefore, their network is especially critical to protect. Not only are we helping Blackboard protect their data from being compromised or lost, we are also protecting their customers’ service and ensuring that they have secure, online access to Blackboard that will not be threatened by attacks.”

The TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention Systems provide Application Protection, Performance Protection and Infrastructure Protection at gigabit speeds through total packet inspection. Application Protection capabilities provide fast, accurate, reliable protection from internal and external cyber attacks. Through its Infrastructure Protection capabilities, the TippingPoint IPS protects VoIP infrastructure, routers, switches, DNS and other critical infrastructure from targeted attacks and traffic anomalies. TippingPoint’s Performance Protection capabilities enable customers to throttle non-mission critical applications that hijack valuable bandwidth and IT resources, thereby aligning network resources and business-critical application performance.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry. The Company’s product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite(TM) and the Blackboard Commerce Suite(TM). Blackboard’s clients include colleges, universities, schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.

About TippingPoint, a division of 3Com
TippingPoint, a division of 3Com, is the leading provider of network-based intrusion prevention systems that deliver in-depth Application Protection, Infrastructure Protection, and Performance Protection for corporate enterprises, government agencies, service providers and academic institutions. Our innovative approach offers customers unmatched network-based security with unrivaled economics, ultra-high performance, scalability and reliability. TippingPoint is based in Austin, Texas, and can be contacted through its Web site at or by telephone at 1-888-TRUE-IPS.

About 3Com Corporation
3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) is a leading provider of secure, converged voice and data networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes. 3Com offers a broad line of innovative products backed by world class sales, service and support, which excel at delivering business value for its customers. When customers exercise choice, their choice is 3Com. For further information, please visit, or the press site

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