Mountain View, Calif., Jan. 3, 2007 – Barracuda Networks, Inc., the leading provider of enterprise-class application security appliances, today announced that all Barracuda Web Filter models now support "soft" blocking features for additional content filtering and monitoring flexibility. With soft blocking capabilities, administrators now have the power to monitor and/or warn users who are not complying with the organization´s Internet-usage policies. In addition, the Barracuda Web Filter now includes new and enhanced reporting functionality.
"While many organizations have either business or regulatory requirements to enforce stronger Internet-usage policies, they also have a desire to carefully monitor questionable Internet activity prior to blocking it outright," said Stephen Pao, vice president of product management for Barracuda Networks. "Soft blocking options serve as valuable precursors to stricter policies."
Web Content Filtering with Monitoring or Warning Actions
The Barracuda Web Filter´s new soft blocking features enable network administrators to monitor usage or issue warnings upon visits to questionable Web sites. Previously administrators simply had the choice to block or accept Web sites.
Network administrators assign a policy action of Block, Accept, Warn, or Monitor to any of the Barracuda Web Filter´s 57 content categories, to specific domain names, or to specific URL patterns. For instance, if a user attempts to visit a Web site that has been assigned to a category with a Warning policy, the user will first receive a "block message" screen and will be given the option to proceed to the Web site. Warnings are useful for providing reminders to users that certain Web site categories, such as online e-commerce sites or news sites, may be beyond typical business use or fall outside the organization´s defined corporate Internet-usage policies. As with all content filtering policy actions, network administrators also have the ability to view the user ID and Web site URL associated with the warning.
When Monitoring is applied, users are allowed to proceed to monitored Web sites without receiving a "block message" screen. Monitoring is useful for assessing levels of personal Internet usage, such as Web sites categorized as personals and dating or sports, without interrupting users´ behavior
"Monitoring can be especially beneficial for administrators or managers who believe that a certain user may be abusing their Internet-access privileges, or to assess whether or not certain sites are becoming disruptive to groups within the organization," said Pao. "For example, a sales manager could use this feature to determine how much time their salespeople are spending on social networking sites, such as MySpace.com, rather than making sales calls."
New and Enhanced Reporting
Along with soft blocking capabilities, a number of new reports and more comprehensive reporting functions are available with the latest Barracuda Web Filter firmware, including:
- Reports associated with soft block options – The Barracuda Web Filter supports reports associated with its new soft blocking features, such as the Top Monitored Clients, Top Warned Clients, Top Monitored Web Sites and Top Warned Web Sites reports.
- Summary reports now available on the Barracuda Web Filter 310 and higher – Previously available only on Barracuda Web Filter models 610 and higher, models 310 and 410 now also include the following summary reports: Top Blocked Web Sites, Top Web Sites by Hits, Top Clients by Hits, Top Clients by Bandwidth Utilized and Top Web Sites by Bandwidth Utilized.
- Reports by username – Several reports, including Top Blocked Clients (Content Filter), Top Clients by Hits and Top Clients by Bandwidth Utilized, now report by username, enabling administrators to easily determine which users violate policy independent of the computer they are logged in to.
Pricing and Availability
These new features are immediately available with Barracuda Web Filter version 3.1, to all current customers at no additional charge. New customers will receive the latest version out of the box. Pricing varies by model and starts at $1,499 in the U.S. with no per user licensing fees. International pricing varies by region.
About the Barracuda Web Filter
Available in five models, the Barracuda Web Filter combines preventative, reactive and proactive measures to form a complete anti-spyware and content filtering solution for businesses of all sizes. The Barracuda Web Filter is designed to enforce acceptable Internet usage policies by blocking access to objectionable content and unauthorized Internet applications. At the same time, the Barracuda Web Filter´s award-winning feature set enables the Barracuda Web Filter to block spyware downloads, prevent viruses, and stop access to spyware Web sites. Unlike the widely available desktop software solutions, the Barracuda Web Filter is easily installed and does not require the additional time, money or resources necessary for downloading and maintaining software on each individual PC. Hourly Energize Updates are made automatically by Barracuda Central so that the Barracuda Web Filter can block the ever-changing virus and spyware variants, as well as maintain the most up-to-date database of the latest productivity-inhibiting Web sites.
About Barracuda Networks, Inc.
Barracuda Networks is the leading provider of enterprise-class application security appliances for comprehensive email, Internet and IM protection. Its products protect over 35,000 customers around the world, including Adaptec, Caltrans, CBS, Georgia Institute of Technology, IBM, NASA, Pizza Hut, Union Pacific Railroad Company, and the U.S. Treasury Department. The Barracuda Spam Firewall and Barracuda Spam Firewall – Outbound protect organizations against spam, viruses, and violations to e-mail security policy. The Barracuda Web Filter offers comprehensive content filtering and complete network protection against spyware, malware and viruses. The Barracuda IM Firewall is the only all in one gateway solution for IM traffic management and security. Barracuda Networks is a privately held company with headquarters in Mountain View, California. Barracuda Networks has offices in eight international locations and distributors in over 43 countries. More information is available at http://www.barracuda.com.