The enterprise firewalls leader Check Point just added a new product to its portfolio for consumers called ZoneAlarm (a brand obtained from the acquisition of ZoneLabs in 2003): ZoneAlarm ForceField.
ZoneAlarm is a personal firewall and this ForceField edition seems to bundle an application virtualization engine which virtualizes the browser (both Internet Explorer and Firefox).
What an application-proxy firewall has to do with application virtualization? Nothing, but trying to use application virtualization for security purposes is not a bad idea.
Unfortunately, despite what the Check Point press release states, the company is not a pioneer in this area: two years ago a startup called Trustware launched on the market an application virtualization engine, BufferZone, selling the product as a security solution to isolate all those applications that interact with Internet and may bring in malicious contents (browsers, mail clients, P2P clients, instant messengers, etc.).
A little later, a stealth startup called GreenBorder was developing a similar technology, so good that Google acquired the company before it could hit the market.
It’s not clear how the security giant thinks to sell application virtualization through personal firewalls, but it’s very likely that if Check Point demonstrates interest in this approach, the entire security industry will follow shortly.