Blue Coat Introduces Anti-Spyware Appliance

Spyware Interceptor is designed for easy installation, for networks of 1,000 users or less.
Blue Coat plans on Monday to introduce a new spyware-blocking appliance for networks of 1,000 users or less.

Spyware Interceptor repackages the company's enterprise-level security appliance, removing technology not having to do with spyware defense and adding a graphical user interface for easy management, said product manager Chris Hargett. The appliance is designed to take about 15 minutes to install.

The appliance incorporates several spyware-fighting technologies, including filtering by category, white- and blacklisting, file type identification, port monitoring, and scanning outbound connections.

Blue Coat maintains directories of Web sites organized by categories. It uses the lists for content-filtering purposes, to allow companies to control which Web sites employees are allowed to visit. Blue Coat adapted that technology for spyware blocking, to allow network managers to block executable downloads from at-risk sites.

"Of the 60 or so content-filtering categories we have, the spyware was coming in from 15 high-risk categories," Hargett said. These include adult, gambling, gaming, politics and hobby-sports. For Blue Coat's list of categories it uses for Web filtering, see here.

Network managers can refine the lists by blacklisting and whitelisting selected sites.

The appliance searches many ports for attacks, not just the traditional port for Web access, Port 80.

Outbound scanning keeps an eye out for spyware that's "phoning home" to report to its owners on user behavior or credit-card numbers, or to re-download components that users have deleted from their systems.

Blue Coat said last month that a poll of IT managers found that desktop-based anti-spyware is inadequate.

The Green Bay Packers use Blue Coat technology to block spyware.

Barracuda Networks introduced a spyware-blocking and Web filtering appliance last week.

Available May 31, the appliance is priced starting at $2,295 for up to 1,000 users, plus a $695 per year subscription for support and updates.

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