Blue Coat Targets SMB Protection With ProxyOne

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Blue Coat is touting the ability of its ProxyOne appliance to protect SMBs from growing online threats

A new easy to install web security appliance from enterprise application services provider Blue Coat, is being aimed at small to midsize companies with limited IT support resources.

Dubbed the ProxyOne, the appliance is designed for firms with limited IT resources and can support between 100 and 2,000 users. Based on the same engine that powers the Proxy SG, its enterprise appliance, the ProxyOne is intended to compete with Cisco’s IronPort, Websense and Bloxx.

Blue Coat integrated web security into a “low-touch” platform, claiming the appliance provides protection from the latest threats without requiring any web security expertise. The installation procedure is simpl,e as the ProxyOne can be deployed and configured in six steps by any IT “generalist,” Sasi Murthy, senior director of product marketing at Blue Coat, told eWEEK.

Protection In A Box

ProxyOne combines inline malware and antivirus scanning, web filtering and on-box reporting in a single easy-to-deploy box. The antivirus engine, powered by Kaspersky Lab, scans at the web gateway, protecting users from threats before they enter the network.

Anything web-based that comes through the ProxyOne gets scanned, and all attachments are scanned by the built-in antivirus, said Murthy.

The appliance also uses Blue Coat’s caching technology to speed the scanning process with a “scan once, serve many” model so the network doesn’t get clogged scanning the same sites and executables. The caching technology also boosts video performance and helps prevent “video floods,” when video traffic consumes all the network bandwidth, preventing other applications from running, said Murthy.

The appliance connects to Blue Coat’s cloud-based WebPulse service for real-time web monitoring and protection. Over 70 million users are connected to the service, giving Blue Coat security experts up-to-date information about the latest threats. Remote users can connect to the cloud service by downloading and installing Blue Coat ProxyClient software at no additional cost to remain protected, said Murthy.

The appliance also offers preconfigured policies to make it easy for the administrator to apply usage policies. On-box reporting can track user compliance with those policies, according to Blue Coat.

Policy Flexibility

The ability to segment user policies was a “key requirement,” said Murthy. For example, the CEO would have permissions to access certain sites from the office network that may be restricted to the rest of the company. While not currently available, Murthy promised the capability will be available in an update coming “in a few weeks, within the calendar quarter.”

As for maintenance, managers can “drop it in” and the appliance will begin working immediately, and its self-updating capabilities ensure the managers don’t have to worry about scheduling time to install software upgrades or keeping up with immediate security updates, said Murthy.

Administrators can access user activity reports directly on the box via a user-friendly interface. The reports include information about potentially infected users and the number of threats attempting to access the network. The primary reporting window can be customised to show relevant reports.

ProxyOne also has stream-splitting and caching technologies in place to prevent “video floods,” which are caused when online video clogs network resources, preventing the network from responding to requests from other applications.

The ProxyOne has been available through the channel since November, Murthy said. Initial upfront price is $8,999 (£5,764) for 100 users, which includes the cost of the appliance, software licenses, automatic security updates and support, said Murthy.

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