Check Point R80.20. What will be new?

Not everyone managed to switch to R80.10, as Check Point announced the imminent release of a new version of the OS - Gaia R80.20 . This is certainly good news. The estimated official release date is the end of the second quarter of 2018 (i.e. in the summer). Moreover, the EA (early access) program is launched, i.e. R80.20 you can already try! If interested, you can write to us . Below we will consider the main innovations and how they will be useful.

What's new?

There is an official list of improvements and new features. Let's go through the whole list.

What's new in R80.20?


With Falcon Acceleration Cards:

  • NGFW / NGTP / NGTX & HTTPS Inspection acceleration - supporting higher throughput with maximum security including inspection of HTTPS traffic.
  • QoS acceleration.
  • Firewall only acceleration — low-latency, high packet and session rates.
  • VSX support.

Additional software enhancements:

  • Session rate improvements on high-end appliances (including 2012 appliances and 13000 and above appliances).
  • Acceleration is enabled during policy installation.
  • HTTPS Inspection performance improvements.

Threat prevention

Threat Prevention Indicators (IoC) API
  • Management API support for Threat Prevention Indicators (IoC).
  • Add, delete, and view indicators through the management API.

Threat Prevention Layers
  • Support layer sharing within Threat Prevention policy.
  • Support setting different administrator permissions per Threat Prevention layer.

MTA (Mail Transfer Agent)

MTA monitoring:
  • E-mails history views and statistics, current e-mails queue status and actions performed on e-mails in queue.

MTA configuration enhancements:
  • Setting a next-hop server by domain name.
  • Stripping or neutralizing malicious links from e-mails.
  • Adding a customized text to a malicious e-mail's body or subject.
  • Malicious e-mail tagging using an X-header.
  • Sending a copy of the malicious e-mail.
  • ICAP server support on a Security Gateway to consult with Threat Emulation and Anti-Virus Deep Scan whether a file is malicious.

Threat Emulation

  • SmartConsole support for multiple Threat Emulation Private Cloud Appliances.
  • SmartConsole support for Blocking files types in archives.


  • Sync redundancy support (over bond interface).
  • Automatic CCP mode (either Unicast, Multicast or Broadcast mode).
  • Unicast CCP mode.
  • Enhanced state and failover monitoring capabilities.
  • OSPFv3 (IPv6) clustering support.
  • New cluster commands in Gaia Clish.

Advanced Routing

  • Allow AS-in-count.
  • IPv6 MD5 for BGP.
  • IPv6 Dynamic Routing in ClusterXL.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 OSPF multiple instances.
  • Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for gateways and VSX, including IP Reachability detection and BFD Multihop.

Identity Awareness

  • Identity Tags support the use of tags defined by an external source to enforce users, groups or machines in Access Roles matching.
  • Identity Collector support for Syslog Messages — ability to extract identities from syslog notifications.
  • Identity Collector support for NetIQ eDirectory LDAP Servers.
  • Transparent Kerberos SSO Authentication for Identity Agent.
  • Two Factor Authentication for Browser-Based Authentication (support for RADIUS challenge§response in Captive Portal and RSA SecurID next Token§Next PIN mode).
  • New configuration container for Terminal Servers Identity Agents.
  • Ability to use an Identity Awareness Security Gateway as a proxy to connect to the Active Directory environment, if SmartConsole has no connectivity to the Active Directory environment and the gateway does.
  • Active Directory cross-forest trust support for Identity Agent.
  • Identity Agent automatic reconnection to prioritized PDP gateways.

Mirror and Decrypt

  • Decryption and clone of HTTP and HTTPS traffic.
  • Forwarding traffic to a designated interface for mirroring purposes.

Hardware Security Module (HSM)

  • Enhancement of outbound HTTPS Inspection with a Gemalto SafeNet HSM Appliance.
  • SSL keys are stored when using HTTPS Inspection.

Security Management

  • Multiple simultaneous sessions in SmartConsole — One administrator can publish or discard several SmartConsole private sessions, independently of the other sessions.
  • Integration with a Syslog server (previously supported in R77.30) — A Syslog server object can be configured in SmartConsole to send logs to a Syslog server.


  • Integration with SmartProvisioning (previously supported in R77.30).
  • Support for the 1400 series appliances.
  • Administrators can now use SmartProvisioning in parallel with SmartConsole

Access Policy

  • New Wildcard Network object supported in Access Control policy.
  • Simplified management of Network objects in a security policy.
  • HTTPS Inspection now works in conjunction with HTTPS web sites categorization. HTTPS traffic that is bypassed will be categorized.
  • Rule Base performance improvements, for enhanced rule base navigation and scrolling.
  • Global VPN Communities. Previously supported in R77.30.

vSEC Controller Enhancements

  • Integration with Google Cloud Platform.
  • Integration with Cisco ISE.
  • Automatic license management with the vSEC Central Licensing utility.
  • Monitoring capabilities integrated into SmartView.
  • vSEC Controller support for 41000, 44000, 61000, and 64000 Scalable Platforms.

Additional Enhancements

  • HTTPS Inspection support for IPv6 traffic.
  • Improvements in policy installation performance on R80.10 and higher gateways with IPS.
  • Network defined by routes — gateway's topology is automatically configured based on routing.
  • IPS Domain Purge on Security Management Server — IPS update packages are saved for 30 days, older packages are purged.

Endpoint Security Server

Managing features that are included in R77.30.03:
Management of new blades:
  • SandBlast Agent Anti-Bot.
  • SandBlast Agent Threat Emulation and Anti-Exploit.
  • SandBlast Agent Forensics and Anti-Ransomware.
  • Capsule Docs.

New features in existing blades:
  • Full Disk Encryption.
  • Offline Mode.
  • Self Help Portal.
  • XTS-AES Encryption.
  • New options for the Trusted Platform Module (TPM).
  • New options for managing Pre-Boot Users.
  • Media Encryption and Port Protection.
  • New options to configure encrypted container.
  • Optical Media Scan.

  • Web Protection.
  • Advanced Disinfection.

With your permission, I will not translate. As you can see, there are a lot of improvements. We will not discuss the entire list. I’d better tell you which functions are, in our opinion, the most interesting and why you should definitely think about updating.

Hardware Acceleration Card

In addition to various improvements to the HTTPS inspection, one can notice that one of the innovations of R80.20 is support for the Acceleration Card. It is supposed to use these cards to decrypt HTTPS traffic in order to offload the Check Point gateway itself. Also, these cards can be used not only for SSL decryption, but also simply for processing packets if the gateway itself cannot cope with peak load. Physical modules can be inserted into all devices starting from the 5000th series. This is great news, given the trend to increase the share of SSL traffic. The importance of the HTTPS inspection and configuration process was described earlier .

Endpoint improvements

For some reason, many forget that Check Point is not only perimeter protection. They have excellent endpoint agents that include almost all the necessary security features. These are antivirus, firewall, antibot, disk encryption, control of USB-carriers, sandbox mechanisms, antiphishing, forensics module and much more. I think we will devote a separate article to Check Point agents. In R80.20, agent management is even better with more blades.

Threat prevention

For the first time, the API was introduced in version R80. It was a long-awaited feature and it is nice that Check Point continues to improve it. We wrote about the API earlier , and very soon there will be a webinar on the topic of API and integration with Splunk. In addition, the function of the ICAP server can be very useful, which will allow you to send files from outside for verification (automatically or manually). Also, a very long-awaited function was the ability to block specific types of files (.doc, .exe, .pdf, etc.) contained in archives.

Identity Awareness

This blade is used by almost everyone who has Check Point. A large number of improvements will undoubtedly appeal to many. For us, as integrators, the expected feature was two-factor authentication for the Captive Portal. Syslog support (for user identification) will also be a huge plus.


Our free Check Point R80.10 Getting Started course will take place tomorrow . If you do not want to miss future events like this, subscribe to our VK group or Telegram channel.

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Have you upgraded to R80.10?

  • 35.3% Yes 6
  • 47.1% No, still using R77.30 8
  • 17.6% Forced to use certified version of R77.10 3