Blue Coat delivers ProxySG appliances

Blue Coat Systems is looking to counter the vulnerabilities that unmonitored user access to instant messaging and the internet can create within enterprises.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  October 13, 2003

The advent of instant messaging (IM) has prompted new user alerts for enterprises. Not only can its use slow network activities and worker productivity, but it can also introduce new vulnerabilities into the workplace. Viruses can potentially be transmitted through the medium, sensitive information can be leaked through the platform and legal issues could be raised through inappropriate behaviour or language sent via IM in the workplace.

Research carried out by Blue Coat Systems supports many of these concerns. 65% of IM users admitted having personal conversations through the system during work hours, while only 11% of respondents are using IM for work purposes.

"While instant messaging has proven itself a productive business tool, our research validates that its free flowing and unmonitored nature is creating enormous legal liabilities, compliance and productivity issues for organisations worldwide," says Steve Mullaney, vice president of marketing with Blue Coat Systems. "Organisations must now integrate a policy for controlling and logging IM as part of the overall internet user policy," he continues.

While the definition and implementation of user policies falls to the enterprise, Blue Coat is, however, introducing its ProxySG appliances to accelerate, control and secure both internet and IM access. The solutions will leverage on the vendor's experience in caching to ensure network availability remains high, while integrating with the content filtering and virus scanning solutions from other security players.

The ProxySG appliances allow administrators to assume control of IM and internet applications and monitor user behaviour, as well as stipulate which users should have access to internet or IM systems, at what particular time, for how long and so forth.

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