Blue coat delves into the SMB market

ProxyOne solution uses same cloud-based database as enterprise solutions

Tags: Blue Coat Systems IncorporatedCloud computing
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Blue coat delves into the SMB market Nigel Hawthorn, VP EMEA, Blue Coat says that Proxy One is taking the strength of the web security that Blue Coat has and delivering it in an easier to use way, at a lower price.
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By  Georgina Enzer Published  January 13, 2011

Blue Coat, best know for supplying web security devices to large enterprises, has ventured into the small and medium business market with its new product, ProxyOne.

ProxyOne is a new hybrid appliance that includes web filtering, anti-malware scanning and reporting. The appliances provide real-time protection against malware and malicious content, allowing SMBs to safely use the web and web2.0 applications.

"Proxy One is taking the strength of the web security that Blue Coat has and delivering it in an easier to use way, at a lower price device, so that smaller and mid-sized organisations can get the strength of the web security technology that we have without the complexity," said Nigel Hawthorn, VP EMEA Marketing for Blue Coat Systems.

Backing up the ProxyOne security system, and providing one of its integral components, is Blue Coat's WebPulse cloud-based database system. This application gathers data from over 70 million users worldwide, about what websites are safe and what websites people are going to.

WebPulse is designed to analyse that data in real-time using sophisticated defences that are regularly being fine-tuned and expanded to more accurately categorise content and more quickly identify malware.

According to Blue Coat, its competitors do not utilise as large or as dynamic databases as WebPulse, thereby limiting their ability to protect the user.  

"What makes ProxyOne successful is that it uses that same database of information that is being gathered by all our high-end systems. What we see with quite a few other companies' SMB solutions is that they stand alone; they are separate from their enterprise solutions. With Blue Coat we have made sure we are using the same power behind the SMB products as we do for everything else," said Hawthorn.

One of the major risks facing SMBs is malware hidden in social networking links and users who expect to be able to access their social networking sites even during working hours. According to Hawthorn, approximately 70% to 80% of small and medium businesses are also using social networking tools to drive their businesses. This opens businesses up to attacks through these social networking sites.

"Unfortunately SMBs don't usually have the time or the resources to implement and manage a comprehensive web security solution. It's for these people we decided we needed something that was as comprehensive for web-protection [as Blue Coat's enterprise systems], but more affordable and easier to set up, easier to configure and manage. There are a lot of people who work in small organisations who have the same threats as those who work in large organisations and they therefore need the same level of security without perhaps the sophistication of the higher end devices," said Hawthorn.

The new ProxyOne system does not just protect users inside the business, but outside too. The ProxyClient application in ProxyOne sits on employee's laptop or portable device and protects them when travelling or accessing company data from outside the office.

The Blue Coat system is also able to look at the whole of the web and make instant ratings on whether or not a page is safe, but there is still reliance on the human element to be sensible about what is accessed or opened.

"Unfortunately what we are seeing is that users are using web 2.0, malware is hugely sophisticated and driven by criminals making money, so that it is maybe malware 3.0 and sadly we are still at human being or user 1.0. Every day users join the internet, they have not necessarily had the training, they don't understand the complexities, they don't understand when they might be caught out and it is a constantly growing problem," said Hawthorn.

According to Blue Coat, statistics show that there were more different types of malware in 2010 than in every other year added together.

The company began shipping ProxyOne in December 2010 and is already getting positive customer feedback.

The ProxyOne appliance is $4,999. Users must also purchase a one year or three year subscription, which covers web filtering, anti-malware scanning, reporting, ProxyClient for remote worker protection and support.

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