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Finjan adds DLP, content caching to Web security gateway

The Web security vendor says its DLP capabilities won't compete with major vendors in the market, but will appeal to enterprises in a tight economy.

Finjan's newest release has bolstered its position in the highly competitive Web security gateway market, layering in onboard content caching and basic data loss prevention (DLP) functionality in Secure Web Gateway version 9.2.

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The new features complement Finjan's antimalware protection, which combines its highly regarded real–time content inspection technology and optional antivirus modules (Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos), application control for use of IM, Skype and P2P, and Web usage control (URL filtering, Web 2.0 sites).

Finjan Inc. is banking on offering a comprehensive one-appliance (their Vital Security Web Appliance NG-5100 and NG-6100), which it says is a cost-effective package that will appeal to enterprises in a tight economy.

"The challenges for CIOs and CISOs are budget issues in the global recession," said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer of Finjan. "That means saving power consumption, floor space and having fewer boxes in data center. Companies still have to run operations despite layoffs."

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About half of Finjan's U.S. sales are channel-based, aimed primarily at companies with fewer than 5,000 employees. In Europe they do direct sales almost exclusively.

It doesn't expect its DLP capability to compete with major vendors in that market, such as Symantec/Vontu, McAfee Inc., Websense Inc., Trend Micro Inc. and Vericept Corp. It allows companies to frame inspection around keywords and patterns, but only along Web vectors, not email and desktops, probably the most critical channels high-end DLP products cover, with more sophisticated search algorithms, content and meta data tagging, etc.

The value, Finjan said, is to give organizations DLP capabilities while they implement complex, long-term projects, or basic functionality for those companies that shy away from big DLP projects.

Content caching is generally a key component of URL filtering solutions, typically requiring a third-party proxy, such as Blue Coat appliances, to accelerate Web page delivery. But Gartner analyst Peter Firstbrook doesn't think this is as big a deal as it once was.

"Caching is a feature that's becoming a nice to have rather than a must have," Firstbrook said. "Providing it keeps them from being excluded from deals where companies have done caching in the past with [Microsoft] ISA, Blue Coat or NetApp."

"But the caching component is less important than it used to be because most Web pages are dynamic anyway."

Finjan also offers a stand-alone Web-caching appliance.

The Web gateway security market grew out of URL filtering, which many companies deployed to improve productivity by curtailing employees' browsing habits and enforcing policy by reporting on and/or blocking unacceptable sites, such as gambling and pornography. As employees started using uncontrolled apps such as IM and P2P, vendors added application control.

As the Web-borne malware supplanted email as the primary threat vector, Web Security vendors quickly realized that URL filtering provided very weak security and added gateway antimalware scanning.

Firstbrook believes the market remains strong.

"This is one of the market that will hold up quite well," he said. "Less than 20% of enterprises are filtering Web traffic for malware, and yet, that's where all the malware is coming from; 80% of the malicious sites are actually legitimate sites that have been compromised."

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