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IM Appliance Combines Server, Security, Compliance

Barracuda claims its device is the first all-in-one instant messaging appliance that combines an IM server with native traffic filtering, archiving, and policy management.

Barracuda Networks today launched the Barracuda IM Firewall, the first all-in-one instant messaging appliance that combines an IM server with native consumer IM traffic filtering and IM archiving and policy management technologies in one package. The company, which will show the product on stage at the DEMOfall 2005 conference on Wednesday, claims the product makes it easy and affordable to a secure and seamless channel for rapid business communication.

“The business benefits of IM are undeniable, yet the security risks and challenges are paramount for organizations,” said Chris Shipley, executive producer of DEMOfall 2005, “and the Barracuda IM Firewall is the first packaged solution to allow organizations to harness the power of IM while eliminating the security risks.”

The Barracuda IM Firewall is able to manage and archive all public IM traffic as well as provide a secure internal instant messaging server for confidential, corporate communications. The company says that its appliance's XMPP-based secure internal IM server, coupled with strong IM traffic identifcation and archiving functionality solves the increasing concerns surrounding IM use and compliance with laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and other industry regulations.

The Barracuda IM Firewall features automatic compliant IM logging and complete archiving including date, time and full text of discussions between parties. It captures and logs IM traffic from the internal IM server and public IM services and networks, and provides space to log the maximum number of users for five years.

“This product is a truly priceless benefit for healthcare, financial, legal, educational, and government organizations in particular,” said Dean Drako, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks, adding that, “by using the Barracuda IM Firewall, businesses will no longer have to second-guess whether IM is a fully compliant and completely secure means of communication.”

In addition to IM traffic identification and archiving, the company claims that the Barracuda IM Firewall provides:

  • Private and Secure IM Server/Network: All internal Barracuda IM Firewall messages are encrypted using up to 256-bit encryption with full logging capabilities for an audit trail of all business communications.

  • Keyword Identification and Reporting The Barracuda IM Firewall Keyword Identifcation and Reporting tools allow administrators to monitor and control the types of IM traffic on their network.

  • Interoperability with Public IM Networks The Barracuda IM Firewall is compatible with popular IM services such as AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ and the new Google Talk service, making it easy to manage and monitor public IM services that may already be in use within the origaniztion as well as block access to public IM as needed.

  • Unified Client for all IM Networks The Barracuda IM Firewall client allows users to access secure internal IM and all public IM networks from a single interface.
“We are seeing explosive growth in the use of IM as the preferred method for communication among our customers,” said Drako. “The Barracuda IM Firewall is an affordable and powerful solution that our customers as well as businesses worldwide can use to both secure and manage IM.”

The Barracuda IM Firewall is available in five models that support up to 7,000 users. With no software to install, no modifications required to the network and an intuitive user interface for maintenance and monitoring, the Barracuda IM Firewall is easy to install and virtually maintenance-free. Hourly Energize Updates are made automatically by Barracuda Central so that the Barracuda IM Firewall remains up-to-date with the most effective methods to identify and control public IM traffic and to combat ever-changing virus variants. -more-

Pricing and Availability The Barracuda IM Firewall models will begin shipping in the U.S. in first quarter 2006. U.S. prices range from $1,999 to $27,999 with no per user license fees. For more information, contact Barracuda Networks.

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