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Blue Coat Enhances WebFilter Database for Greater Policy - Flexibility and Proactive Protection Against Web-based Threats
New Granular Categories Enhance Visibility into User Behavior and Enable Policies that Balance Productivity with Protection
"As businesses adopt new Web-based applications and set corporate IT policies around new content, they require a flexible set of tools that reflects current user behavior," said Carrie Oakes, vice president of product marketing and management at Blue Coat Systems. "Blue Coat has leveraged its in-depth Web awareness to establish new categories for WebFilter based on current Internet use cases, enabling businesses to implement flexible policies that protect and boost the productivity of their employees."
Granular Categories Enable Flexible IT Policies
To provide more granular monitoring and control capabilities, particularly in regard to multimedia use on the Web, Blue Coat has added six new categories to WebFilter. Those categories include media sharing, art/culture, Internet telephony, network errors, TV/video streams and radio/audio streams. Web-based multimedia applications have evolved rapidly, and now many businesses use them on a regular basis. Legacy URL categories that do not distinguish between the many different types of multimedia applications force companies to adopt inflexible, draconian policies.
With the addition of categories for TV/video and radio/audio streams and media sharing, Blue Coat WebFilter provides the most granular categories for Web-based multimedia applications in the industry. These new categories complement WebFilter's existing categories for media downloads and audio/video clips and address the changing adoption of multimedia applications within businesses.
Blue Coat WebFilter is the only URL filtering solution to differentiate and categorize long stream radio and video from short streams that are less than 15 minutes. This ability enables businesses to create more flexible, granular IT policies around multimedia. For example, a business could allow shorter audio/video clips during normal business hours but only allow bandwidth consuming TV/video streams after business hours. Alternatively, using Blue Coat ProxySG appliances, security administrators could limit bandwidth for TV/video streams, which would protect business applications.
New Categories Increase Proactive Protection Against Web-threats
According to Symantec, in 2008, 60 percent of all known malware was newly created. That trend has continued unabated through 2009. To provide businesses with the tools they need to mitigate exposure to those Web-based threats, Blue Coat has added four new categories to WebFilter, including potentially unwanted software, online meetings, translation and greeting cards. The addition of these categories enables businesses to set granular security policies that are flexible and protect users from potential threats that exploit these Web-based applications.
Translation sites can be useful for global businesses but can also pose a security risk as a point of unintentional data leakage. With Blue Coat WebFilter, rather than simply blocking translation sites, businesses can deploy coaching pages to remind users of the potential security risk and advise them not to translate proprietary information. A business could also block text translations but allow full Web page translations. WebFilter pioneered the categorization of fully translated Web pages into appropriate content categories for compliance with corporate IT policies. This flexibility enables the employee to access a useful application while mitigating the potential dangers.
The addition of a category for online meetings enables enterprises to establish granular policies for Web-based communications that can improve collaboration. With Blue Coat® ProxySG® appliances, IT managers can provision protected bandwidth for URLs in the online meeting category, delivering a higher quality end user experience.
Blue Coat WebFilter is unique in that it also provides a category for spyware effects/privacy concerns, which categorizes URLs that are used to disseminate instructions to botnets or act as "phone home" sites for collecting personal information. This category complements the malware/spyware sources category, which identifies URLs that host or distribute malware. With two distinct categories, IT managers can identify infected computers that are attempting to call "phone home" sites in real time and perform forensic analysis. The ability to quickly identify computers that are trying to access URLs in this category reduces the time that IT mangers would otherwise spend isolating potentially infected computers.
To further enhance protection against malicious content, Blue Coat WebFilter also includes a category for suspicious URLs that rates new sites and domains against Web reputation factors. New URLs that return risky reputation factors are temporarily rated suspicious until confirmed to be malicious or not. Upon verification, the URLs will be categorized in one of Blue Coat's malicious categories or other content categories.
Simultaneous Categorizations Enable Detailed Reporting
In addition to supporting more than 80 categories, Blue Coat WebFilter also supports customer categories and allow/deny lists that provide additional flexibility for security administrators to provide users with access to the applications they need to be productive.
Blue Coat WebFilter can assign URLs to up to four categories, enabling businesses to create more flexible IT policies. For example, an online news publication would be classified in the news category while the sports section of that publication would be classified under both the news and sports categories. If, during the Olympics, a company wanted to block access to or use coaching pages for the sports section, it could do so through policy without blocking access to the entire news site. The ability to assign URLs to multiple categories also enables businesses to generate more detailed reports on specific user behavior.
WebFilter users are automatically protected by the Blue Coat WebPulse(TM) collaborative cloud defense service. As a cloud-based defense, WebPulse continuously shares threat data with an extended global community that is designed to protect more than 62 million users around the world from malicious content. The discovery of a Web threat by one of the users immediately protects all users without requiring downloads or continuous update cycles.
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