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March 5, 2009

Aladdin secures social networking activity at work

New controls restrict Web 2.0 application features

By CBR Staff Writer

Content security systems vendor Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd has come up with a way of controlling what can and cannot be done by workers accessing popular Web 2.0 social networking sites during office hours.

The latest release of the company’s eSafe AppliFilter will allow security managers to set policies so that the web filtering system is able to control or restrict certain social network features, such as Facebook’s ‘Invite a Friend’ or ‘Add a Friend’ or LinkedIn’s ‘Huddle Workspace’ application.

“The update gives organisations the power to manage and control their employees’ access to specific aspects of Web 2.0 applications so they can minimise unnecessary risk and improve productivity while still capitalising on the business and collaborative value these sites can bring” Ofer Elzam, CTO said.

Some businesses are finding it hard to cope with the openness Web 2.0 sites bring, yet realise they need to allow them in the corporate network. 

In terms of corporate security, there are potential dangers in letting sensitive content and IP leach out from the enterprise network and onto a social network. And there are the inevitable malware risks, if access to these sites goes unchecked. 

Rather than blocking access completely, security administrators are increasingly being tasked with controlling at a fairly granular level exactly what can and can not be performed by employees browsing these sites. 

AppliFilter is intended to provide real-time filtering of malicious content as it enters the network and is similar to an active intrusion detection system. 

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An inspection engine examines all traffic at the gateway and analyses the contents of data packets in order to identify and block traffic that is identified as malicious, inappropriate or otherwise restricted.

The system sits and watches for gateway-level (TCP/IP) attacks, peer-to-peer file-sharing activity instant messaging, adware and spyware components and evidence of unauthorised HTTP tunnelling.

The company said that with the release of the latest Applifilter update, sites running eSafe now have the capability to restrict specific functionality on popular social networks, thus maintaining a level of control that would allow them to utilise the sites properly and without the risk of data leakage or misuse.

Existing eSafe customers will be automatically updated to the latest version. 


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