Barracuda Web Filter 7.0 targets social media harassment

Barracuda Networks released firmware version 7.0 for its Web Filter. Highlights of the new release include transparent inspection of SSL-encrypted traffic, proactive alerts for web policy violations, and a new reporting engine.

Social media continues to play a critical role in the workplace, so blocking social media sites completely is not an option. Additionally, an increasing number of social media portals are encrypting Internet traffic, making it difficult to regulate and monitor this activity. NSS Labs recently reported that 25-35 percent of web traffic is SSL and in some environments, SSL-encrypted traffic can be as high as 70 percent.

“Social media has shifted IT focus from traditional network security to more advanced content security,” said Stephen Pao, GM Security Business, Barracuda. “In the past, IT used think about regulating visits to sites or destinations. However, the requirement has evolved toward the need to decrypt, regulate, alert and report on social media traffic beyond its legitimate business use.”

With version 7.0, the Barracuda Web Filter can be used to regulate and monitor social media usage at a very granular level. Highlighted capabilities include:

SSL inspection: Administrators can configure the Barracuda Web Filter to scan and inspect SSL-encrypted traffic for specific categories and domains, enabling granular policy enforcement. For example, a targeted category might include social media to archive all social media posts and protect against social media malware, or a targeted domain might include to redirect requests to the YouTube for Schools portal.

SSL inspection is available in forward proxy deployments for the Barracuda Web Filter 610 and above and in transparent inline deployments as well for the Barracuda Web Filter 910 and 1010 models.

Proactive alerts for suspicious activities: The Barracuda Web Filter includes pre-built English-language dictionaries of keywords and phrases pertaining to harassment, weapons, terrorism and pornography. Administrators can configure the device to automatically generate alerts when content containing these keywords or phrases is posted to social media portals or search engines. Administrators also can add their own keywords and phrases for monitoring. The alerts are tagged with real network user identities making it easy to identify the source, independent of online profiles.

High performance reporting engine: The Barracuda Web Filter provides more than 60 built-in reports without requiring any additional hardware or software. Barracuda Web Filter version 7.0 features a new reporting engine designed for high performance as well as more than 20 new reports that provide detailed visibility around user activity on social media portals, streaming media sites, gaming sites and other categories.

Firmware 7.0 extends the powerful capabilities of the Barracuda Web Filter to provide comprehensive web content security through inbound and outbound malware protection, content filtering and application control and monitoring. Agents are included for securing off-network laptops and tablets.

The expansive model line-up can support up to 100,000 simultaneous TCP Connections at 2 Gbps throughput in a single device and multiple devices can be clustered for both scalability and redundancy. Integrated reporting can eliminate the need for a dedicated reporting device and multiple devices can be centrally managed through the Barracuda Cloud Control portal, enabling enforcement of Internet policy across a distributed organization.

Pricing and availability

Barracuda Web Filter version 7.0 is available immediately at no additional charge to existing customers on the current hardware platform with an active Energize Updates subscription or with an active virtual appliance license.

The Barracuda Web Filter is priced starting at $1,499 for the appliance and $399 per year for Energize Updates in North America. Energize Updates subscriptions include ongoing content filtering, application, antispyware, antivirus and security definitions. International pricing and availability vary by region.

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