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Web Lec

Single unified security for all types of web communications

FaceTime Communications : 10 September, 2007  (New Product)
Unified Gateway offers a single control for the security of web communications including instant messaging and skype.
Responding to the changing nature of Internet traffic, FaceTime Communications has announced the first network security appliance that provides comprehensive security and management across the broadest set of Web and real-time communications applications under a single point of control. The Unified Security Gateway (USG) integrates management, security and compliance for Web communications, consumer-driven greynet applications such as public instant messaging (IM), Skype and P2P, and enterprise-class unified communications platforms such as Microsoft's Office Communications Server and IBM Lotus Sametime.

Internet communications have changed. Today, user-initiated traffic is no longer limited to e-mail and Web browsing, but dominated by highly evasive Greynets - real time communications such as IM, Skype, P2P and hundreds of other unique applications and networks. Today's workforce is introducing these consumer networks into the enterprise to improve communications at work and to stay connected with their extended social networks.

Responding to this end-user demand, many large organizations are deploying enterprise-grade Unified Communications platforms such as Microsoft Office Communications Server and IBM Lotus Sametime.

"IM has become the launch pad from which other forms of communication or meetings are established - a Web conference or voice over IP call for example," said David Mario Smith, research analyst for Gartner, Inc.. "The consumer IM client has become a UC client, and organizations are rapidly adopting enterprise IM and UC platforms. Today, we're seeing a 25 percent to 30 percent penetration of enterprise IM, and we expect to see nearly 100 percent by 2010."

According to preliminary results of FaceTime's Annual Greynets Survey to be released this fall, organizations that deploy enterprise IM platforms continue to see significant use of consumer IM. In fact, the penetration of IM systems in organizations from providers including AOL, Yahoo, MSN and Google, combined with enterprise IM deployments, has reached 96 percent according to Osterman Research, Inc.

These trends create a heterogeneous network environment that must be secured and managed by IT. Real-time Internet applications pose myriad network and information security risks because they provide vectors for malware, intellectual property loss, identity theft and compliance risks.

Consumer applications, to encourage the broadest possible adoption, are particularly adept at traversing existing security infrastructures. The challenge for IT administrators is to gain visibility and control to ensure the safe and productive use of these applications.

"Employees are driving the changes to the Internet traffic that we're seeing on our network. We need more visibility into both the real-time consumer applications like IM as well as the Internet-based applications that employees are using," said Nick Clark, IT manager for law firm Simmons & Simmons. "These two worlds are converging as real-time applications are using the network paths of traditional Web traffic. We used to worry about the security of e-mail, Web traffic and IM as separate vectors, but now the increase in volume and variety of new applications means that we need a more holistic solution. The ability to manage and control all of these modalities as one has a big impact on our bottom line, in terms of both ease of management and total cost of ownership."

The FaceTime Unified Security Gateway (USG) is a secure Web gateway appliance that enables enterprises to control real-time communications. USG integrates management, security and compliance of Web communications, consumer-driven greynet applications such as public IM, Skype and P2P and enterprise-class Unified Communications suites such as Microsoft's Office Communications Server and IBM Lotus Sametime. From a single platform, organizations can enable and enforce safe and productive use of these applications and protect the network against inbound malware, mitigate information leakage risks and insure that corporate, regulatory and e-discovery needs are met.

The USG integrates gateway malware protection and Web filtering with FaceTime's best-in-class IM hygiene and archiving, in a purpose-built, hardened appliance. With this single point of control, organizations can gain complete visibility of all Internet communications and reduce total cost of ownership using a simpler solution that is easily administered by the IT staff. Key capabilities of USG include:.

* Centralized policy management and control - single solution for setting and enforcing policy for all elements of Web browsing, UC and IM in use in the enterprise.

* Web Filtering - powerful policies to control Web access, prevent malware at the gateway and obtain complete visibility over Web communications.

* Content hygiene and security - virus scanning of file attachments, worm blocking, spIM protection and keyword content filtering for both UC-generated as well as federated public IM.

* Regulatory compliance archiving and workflow - guaranteed logging of all UC and public IM communications including capture and archival of file attachments, tamper-resistant storage of messages, and robust and easy-to-use review and audit capabilities.

* Easy administration and management - browser-based management interface for policy configuration, compliance workflow and message retrieval for e-discovery.

* Flexible reporting - improved decision-making about security issues and Internet usage through integrated real-time reporting and monitoring, and compatibility with leading third-party reporting applications.

"Employees will always default to the tools they know and understand, regardless of what the IT department sanctions as official company policy," said Frank Cabri, vice president of marketing and product management for FaceTime. "What these employees do not realize is that when using these applications on the enterprise network, their behavior can put their organizations at risk. FaceTime's solutions provide IT with the controls to manage consumer-oriented applications as a component of its sanctioned Unified Communications strategy."

Unified Security Gateway will be available in September from FaceTime and its worldwide channel partners, with pricing starting at $4,995.
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