BlueCoat intercepts spyware with new appliance

BlueCoat Systems has launched an anti-spyware appliance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  April 28, 2005

BlueCoat Systems has launched an anti-spyware appliance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Spyware Interceptor is a modified version of the company’s enterprise-level security appliance ProxySG, which is built on Blue Coat’s proxy technology SCOPE (Spyware Catching Object Protection Engine). The SCOPE engine is capable of preventing both known and unknown forms of spyware at the gateway, while allowing access to legitimate web applications. It also has the ability to view web sites containing spyware without being infected by it. SCOPE is kept updated by Blue Coat Labs, the company’s security team, by providing it with advanced spyware profiles, policies and protection techniques. “Spyware Interceptor is the first and only proxy-based anti-spyware appliance that is designed to be easy, effective and affordable,” said Ray Kafity, general manager of BlueCoat Systems Middle East. “It utilises Blue Coat’s proven anti-spyware technology with point-and-click policy settings, an installation wizard and an optimised hardware platform to deliver unparalleled protection and value to networks with 1,000 users or less.” The appliance incorporates several anti-spyware tools such as administration-defined white- and blacklisting, file type identification, advanced port monitoring, automatic policy updates, and outbound scanning. It has also added a graphical user interface for easy management. According to IDC’s internet security research analyst, Brian Burke, spyware poses a bigger threat to SMBs because of their lack of IT support and resources. “Spyware can end up impacting small and medium size networks more than larger networks, with less IT financing and fewer IT staff to service the problem,” said Burke. Installing anti-spyware tools in the desktop will not provide adequate protection, Kafity said. “Spyware prevention is not possible with desktop software alone — organisations require a gateway solution that is based on an advanced web proxy architecture to be effective,” added Kafity. The company surveyed 339 IT professionals who use desktop-based anti-spyware solutions from vendors such as Computer Associates, Symantec, McAfee and Microsoft, to learn more about the current state of spyware in the enterprise. Eighty-four percent of those polled said that the spyware problem is the same or worse than it was three months ago, while 72% said that the current set of desktop software products available today are ineffective in preventing spyware from infecting their networks. Seventy-four percent re-imaged some or all of their desktop computers despite installing and running desktop anti-spyware software; 12% re-imaged all their spyware-infected desktops. “Spyware will soon be a bigger threat than viruses because it is profit-motivated, backed by venture capital, and easily created,” said Steve Mullaney, vice president of marketing for Blue Coat. “While desktop software is the only answer for consumers, enterprises are likely to see their costs spiral unless they implement a ‘defense-in-depth’ strategy that includes a gateway anti-spyware solution. Only a proxy-based solution can prevent spyware while actually improving overall Web performance.”

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