SSL encrypted traffic over the WAN increasing

Blue Coat Systems announced that SSL-encrypted traffic now represents a sizeable amount of Wide Area Network (WAN) traffic, and it will increase this year according to a February 2007 Blue Coat-sponsored survey of more than 1,300 IT professionals in enterprises and organizations around the world. The survey shows about 35% of enterprises currently believe SSL-encrypted traffic to represent at least 25% of all traffic across the WAN. Of those surveyed, 62% believed that this SSL-encrypted traffic would increase during 2007. In addition, 53% of the respondents noted that they have applications that communicate using SSL encryption, and 45% plan to use applications with SSL-encrypted communication in the next year.

“The survey confirms that SSL-encrypted traffic already makes up a significant amount of WAN traffic, and that it will increase even more this year,” said Chris King, director of strategic marketing, Blue Coat Systems. “Today, if it’s important, it’s encrypted-and it can be traffic from outsourced or internally-hosted applications. Any enterprise-grade WAN optimization solution must manage and accelerate SSL-encrypted traffic along with other vital traffic.”

Any outsourced Software as a Service (SaaS) application, such as, uses SSL encryption to communicate with users. In addition, many internal applications, including those based on Microsoft SharePoint technology, are using SSL encryption. Since these applications represent important business processes, it is important that WAN optimization solutions accelerate or control such traffic. In addition, since hackers and criminals are now using SSL encryption for exploits and employees are using it to bypass enterprise security and control, organizations need visibility into this traffic and the ability to treat it appropriately, according to policy.

SSL traffic is invisible to most WAN optimization and security solutions and therefore cannot be monitored, controlled or accelerated. Blue Coat provides a unique WAN optimization solution that can accelerate and control the full range of business-critical traffic, including SSL encrypted traffic from external sources.

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