Barracuda web filter adds social media controls

Barracuda Networks released Barracuda Web Filter Firmware 6.0, which adds support for more than 400 profiled applications beyond the scope of traditional URL or domain filtering. For example, administrators can allow users in the organization to login to Facebook to view and post status updates while blocking games, shares and other Facebook applications to protect their networks from viruses and malware.

This upgraded application engine builds on the existing capabilities of the Barracuda Web Filter designed to block applications at a broader level,including Skype, BitTorrent and YouTube for regulating bandwidth usage on workplace networks.

The Barracuda Web Filter’s Web Application Monitoring capabilities integrate with the Barracuda Message Archiver and enable the capture and retention of chat, Web-based email and social media interactions for the purpose of archiving, searching and fulfillment of e-Discovery requests.

Supported interactions on Facebook include wall posts, comments, messages and chat messages. Supported interactions on Twitter include tweets and direct messages. Other platforms supported by Web Application Monitoring include Yahoo! and Google.

Communication between the Barracuda Web Filter and the Barracuda Message Archiver uses standard SMTP protocols so information can flow easily even when the Barracuda Web Filter and the Barracuda Message Archiver are deployed indifferent locations on an organization’s network. Metadata about the social media interaction, including source IP, social media handle, and detected network user ID are also stored in the message for use in litigation.

As social media networks have embraced encryption of user sessions, the Barracuda Web Filter 6.0 can decrypt HTTPS traffic that is SSL encrypted when deployed in forward proxy mode. Transparent deployment of this enhanced SSLInspection feature requires deployment of a trusted root certificate on client Web browsers. This capability builds on the existing HTTPS filtering capabilities of the Barracuda Web Filter for inline deployments.

Upgrades to firmware release 6.0 are available immediately at no additional charge to Barracuda Web Filter customers on the current hardware platform with an active Energize Update subscription. Web Application Monitoring and Enhanced SSL Inspection are available for Barracuda Web Filter models 610 and higher. Barracuda Web Filter pricing in North America ranges from US$1,499 to US$89,999 depending on model, with no per user fees. International pricing and availability varies based on region.

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