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Barracuda Rolls Out Spyware-Blocking Appliance

Barracuda Networks introduces a spyware-blocking and Web-content-filtering appliance designed to make it easier to keep the dangerous software off computers.

As spyware becomes a bigger problem for business computers and networks, business-technology managers are looking for technology to help protect their data and users from the unwanted spying. Barracuda Networks Inc. on Monday unveiled a spyware-blocking and Web-content-filtering appliance called the Barracuda Spyware Firewall to address those issues.

Spyware, small applications that plant themselves in a computer and unbeknownst to the user collect and transmit information, has become a costly problem for IT departments that spend an increasing amount of time removing it from machines. The Barracuda Firewall is designed to prevent such malware from gathering and transmitting personal user data before it moves across the LAN. The firewall appliance is easier to install and doesn't require as much time, IT resources, and money to maintain as client-based anti-spyware products, Barracuda says.

The appliance uses signature and rule-based blocking techniques to prevent spyware from taking action. The appliance also will check for viruses by combining file-type blocking, dual-level virus checking, and decompression of archives. An additional Barracuda Central technical control center constantly monitors Web sites for spyware infractions and creates a black list, preventing users from visiting those sites. Barracuda Spyware Firewall 210, 310, and 410 models will begin shipping June 1, priced between $1,999 and $5,999, the vendor says.

A perimeter approach to blocking spyware works, especially with desktop systems that aren't roaming, one analyst says. "Customers can get more bang for their bucks, protecting many desktops in one fell swoop," says Pete Lindstrom, founder of analyst firm Spire Security. "Such perimeter coverage means laying off a lot of maintenance nightmares tied to client management."

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