Blue Coat Beefs Up Web Security Portfolio

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Blue Coat is touting the improved performance of its new web security appliances to deal with the rising wave of malware and phishing attacks

The internet is an increasingly dangerous place, according to application delivery specialist Blue Coat Systems, which has added new appliances and cloud-based defences in order to safeguard enterprise web surfers.

The company has expanded its Secure Web Gateway solution with the ProxySG 9000 Series appliances that offers improved performance, as well as the ProxyAV 1400 and 2400 Series appliances for rapid online malware scanning.

The ProxySG appliance family and Blue Coat’s WebPulse cloud service also now has enhanced security checks and defences against web-based threats.

The ProxySG and ProxyAV appliances, coupled with ProxyClient software and the cloud-based WebPulse service, make up Blue Coat’s Secure Web Gateway solution.

Bob Hansmann, VP product manager, told eWEEK Europe that according to inhouse research, the total number of infected PC’s rose between more than 66 percent between Q4 2008 and Q2 2009. Also that 90 percent of web based threats are from legitimate sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The UK alone has seen a 25 percent increase in web-based malware over the last year. In addition, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of malware attacks that use multiple links, which makes it more difficult to work out where the malware came from.

“Two thirds of all known computer viruses were found in 2008, and in 2009 this ridiculous rate has not abated,” said Hansmann. “In addition, phishing attempts have risen (i.e. websites pretending to be something they are not in order to get a user to volunteer information). That said, users are getting smarter and not clicking on executables in an email for example.”

“However, this means that the old tricks are not working, so the bad guys have shifted everything to the web, and now emails don’t usually include malicious content, but when a user clicks on a link, they are hit. Also they are making email content more intriguing with links that take you to a website hosting similar information. This is the big shift we have seen in last 12 to 18 months.”

According to Hansmann, Blue Coat has connected the new ProxySG 9000 and ProxyAV 1400 and 2400 appliances to the WebPulse collaborative cloud defence service, in order to obtain “threat intelligence and web awareness.”

Design improvements in the new ProxySG appliances apparently result in a five-fold performance improvement over existing appliances. This appliance also supports a full GBit/s of throughput when deployed in high availability configurations.

Blue Coat also says it has improved the threat analysis capabilities in its Secure Gateway Operating System (SGOS) version 5.5, which boosts “performance by 40 percent across the entire family of ProxySG and ProxyAV appliances”.

Blue Coat’s cloud offering (WebPulse) has been around now for nearly five years, and it dynamically analyses real-time URL requests and immediately shares threat intelligence with more than 62 million users worldwide. It now features custom script analysers, sandboxing, third party feeds, machine analysis and web correlation tools.

The new threat analysis tools in WebPulse, the ProxySG 9000 appliances and SGOS version 5.5 are available now. Pricing for a ProxySG appliance starts at $2,000 (£1,198) and rises depending on the different options for the maintenance agreements.

The Blue Coat ProxyAV 1400 and 2400 will be available in December.


Author: Tom Jowitt
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