Startup Of The Week: Mi5 Networks Cleans Up The Web - InformationWeek

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Startup Of The Week: Mi5 Networks Cleans Up The Web

Appliances block Web-based malware from entering corporate networks and stop employees from surfing unwanted sites.

The Web is a common source of malware infections. It's also a place where employees goof off or--worse--invite lawsuits by browsing porn sites at the office. Mi5 Networks' appliances play virtual vice cop, stopping viruses and spyware at the gateway and keeping employees' browsers clean.
--Andrew Conry-Murray


HEADQUARTERS: Sunnyvale, Calif.

PRODUCT: Mi5 Webgate, Mi5 SpyWash

PRINCIPALS: Doug Camplejohn, CEO and co-founder; Ofer Doitel, VP of engineering and co-founder

INVESTORS: Labrador Ventures, First Round Capital

EARLY CUSTOMERS: Boston Celtics, E-Loan, Fenwick & West, Santa Clara University

Camplejohn aims to tame the wicked Web

Camplejohn aims to tame the wicked Web

Mi5's engineering team has previously built networking technology for carrier networks, so "we have a heritage of developing high-performance and high-reliability products," says CEO Camplejohn. He notes the company has been recognized by Gartner and other experts for having a modular platform that addresses a host of Web threats in a single appliance.

Attackers have become increasingly sophisticated in using the Web to get viruses and spyware onto end users' systems. And a URL filtering system is essential to ensure appropriate Web use in the office. Mi5 combines both technologies into a single platform to serve as a one-stop Web security offering. The company is adding new features, such as a downloadable agent that cleans infected machines and then uninstalls itself and the ability to block file uploads and downloads.

Mi5's appliances offer easy deployment and reduced management headaches for its customers. The company makes use of OEM agreements; it licenses a URL database from IBM ISS and malware signatures from Sophos and Sunbelt Software. Mi5 develops some of its own signatures and concentrates on building a low-latency platform that won't hinder Web traffic. It blocks infections from the Internet and stops malware on compromised PCs from phoning home.

Websense is the market leader in URL filtering. Secure Computing's Webwasher offers robust malware and URL filtering. Blue Coat, eSoft, and St. Bernard Software also are strong competitors in this space.

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