New SurfControl Products Add Muscle Against Emerging Enterprise Risks
Offerings provide maximum protection against evolving Internet threats, including spyware, instant messaging and mobile computing vulnerabilities
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (September 9, 2004) - To help protect customers from emerging Internet threats, including spyware, malicious downloads, blended threats, and threats posed by mobile computing, SurfControl today announced three major enhancements to the company's product line.
The company's three updated products, SurfControl Web Filter 5.0, SurfControl Instant Message Filter 2.5, and SurfControl Mobile Filter enhance an organization's ability to safeguard employee productivity, enhance network security and performance, and limit legal liability by stopping unwanted content in the workplace. Together, the products protect against risks to the network posed by Web-based, mobile, peer-to-peer and instant messaging services and applications.
"Internet threats are becoming more sophisticated each day, and organizations need a comprehensive defense to mitigate risks to the corporate network," said Jim Murphy, SurfControl's director of product marketing. "As IT managers continue to face new vulnerabilities from a constantly evolving Internet, these new tools will help them protect against Internet-based risks, while easing administration."
SurfControl Web Filter 5.0
SurfControl Web Filter 5.0 provides customers with the most comprehensive protection against emerging Internet threats, including spyware, phishing attacks, malicious downloads and inappropriate content in the workplace. The newest version of the product features an enhanced category database to strengthen protection against these threats.
New features include a spyware category, which tracks and filters sites that are sources of spyware, adware, and other inadvertent downloads. This kind of unwanted content slows down network performance and jeopardizes network security. The product also can filter peer-to-peer application sites, which are a growing source of legal liability, network vulnerability, and even confidential data theft.
SurfControl's Virtual Control Agent (VCA), a key component of the Web Filter, uses proprietary artificial intelligence to dynamically track and categorize harmful, previously uncategorized Web content. Enhancements to the VCA make SurfControl Web Filter 5.0 more accurate and efficient than ever in identifying and filtering Web sites that are a threat.
SurfControl Web Filter 5.0 also has new features to ease the administrative burdens on IT managers with distributed enterprise networks. SurfControl's updated reporting engine gives administrators the freedom to delegate reporting and administration duties to designated managers in remote locations. This both eases the burden on the IT manager and improves business communication flow throughout the organization.
The new version of SurfControl Web Filter provides IT staff with a single management console for viewing all of the organization's SurfControl installations in one spot. IT managers can view administrative functions as a whole based on office location or by server/installation type.
SurfControl Instant Message Filter 2.5
SurfControl Instant Message Filter 2.5 responds to threats from Instant Messaging and Peer-to-Peer activity in the workplace, such as those identified in an American Management Association survey. That survey found 31 percent of respondents using IM in the workplace, and 78 percent of these users downloading free IM software from the Internet, unaware of the threats posed by such downloads. Unfiltered IM use leaves organizations open to liabilities such as inappropriate content and confidential data leakage, as well as significant lost productivity.
"One of the major challenges to managing employee Instant Messaging use is the proprietary nature of IM protocols," said SurfControl's Murphy. "SurfControl Instant Message Filter 2.5 features enhancements that increase the number of supported protocols. It also provides automatic updates so that protocols can continue to be managed as they evolve."
The product features extended platform support for the major instant messaging protocols, including the newest versions of AOL, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo! and Sametime/AOL (AIM). The product also supports and enforces major peer-to-peer protocol updates, such as WinMX, OpenNapster, and BitTorrent, as well as Web-based IM and chat interfaces.
SurfControl Instant Message Filter 2.5 offers the ability to run the product from the same server as SurfControl Web Filter. Reporting capabilities have also been enhanced, to help IT managers track employee activity over IM networks on criteria such as the number of communications blocked for a particular user.
SurfControl Mobile Filter
SurfControl Mobile Filter gives businesses the ability to filter their employees' Internet access regardless of where they are working or how they connect to the Internet.
"Untethered employees create unmanaged risks to corporate networks," said Murphy. "SurfControl Mobile Filter provides a first line of defense for the employees outside the wired network."
The surge in mobile computing, combined with today's onslaught of Internet-based threats, creates significant vulnerabilities for corporate networks. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. companies already support mobile wireless networks, with an additional 22 percent planning to implement wireless technology by the end of 2004, according to Jupiter Research. The growing popularity of laptop sales over desktops strongly reinforces this trend. In 2003, laptops outsold desktop computers for the first time ever.
Further complicating filtering efforts is the exploding number of wireless hotspots, which currently stands at over 3,000 locations nationwide. SurfControl Mobile Filter customers have a thin client installed on their mobile devices. This client communicates with the SurfControl Mobile Filter server installed on the organization's own network, and filters Internet access based on the organization's Acceptable Use Policy.
Pricing and Availability
SurfControl Web Filter 5.0 will cost about $19 per user. SurfControl Instant Message Filter 2.5 will cost about $9.50 per user, while SurfControl Mobile Filter will cost about $2,500 for a one-time server fee, with a $6.65 cost per mobile user. All costs are based on an installation of 500 users.
SurfControl plc helps companies 'Stop Unwanted Content' in the workplace by continuous innovation, invention and expansion of its filtering products to address new content risks as they emerge. For further information and news on SurfControl, please visit http://www.surfcontrol.com.