Barracuda Networks Inc., provider of content security, data protection and application delivery solutions, has announced the availability of remote filtering capabilities for the Barracuda Web Filter, enabling protection of Windows desktop and laptop computers even when being used outside the office or corporate network. To protect these remote computers, administrators install the included Barracuda Web Security Agent (WSA), a lightweight, tamper-proof Windows client that works in conjunction with the Barracuda Web Filter to enforce consistent Web security policy across localised and distributed workforces without the need to invest in or manage additional solutions.
"While many organisations have Web filtering solutions in place to protect their users behind their networks, remote or travelling users are often left unprotected, leaving the enterprise open to potential vulnerabilities," said Stephen Pao, vice president of product management for Barracuda Networks. "With these new capabilities, Barracuda Web Filter customers will be able to protect all of these users at no additional charge and with no per user fees."
Powerful Policy Management and Reporting for Remote Users
The Barracuda Web Filter enables sophisticated policy management and activity reporting for remote users in the same way it does for users on the organisation's network. The Barracuda Web Filter includes a powerful policy engine that supports granular policies by user, group, IP address or time. Separate policies can be applied to domain users (authenticated) and guests (unauthenticated). Policies include built-in content and application categories and help to control access to specific domains by creating allow and block lists. Administrators can also specify URL patterns using the UNIX regular expression (regexp) syntax as well as restrict downloading files from the Internet based on MIME types, such as executables, streaming media or videos. In addition, time-based exception rules can be created to override global policies. Using these powerful tools, organisations can design Internet controls to precisely match the requirements of management, needs of individual users or departments and at the same time ensure compliance with necessary industry regulations.
The Barracuda Web Filter enables extensive forensic analysis by way of detailed logs and reports on Internet activity. Reports can be generated on users' Web browsing activity, by domains and content categories, by time spent online, or by bandwidth consumption. Reports can be scheduled for automatic delivery as well. Such information can be used by administrators to monitor Internet activity, budget network resources and prevent online misconduct.
Client-Side Policy Management and Application Whitelisting
In addition to supporting the standard Web filtering policies native to the Barracuda Web Filter, the Barracuda Web Security Agent leverages its client footprint to provide administrators with additional policy management capabilities. For example, administrators can specify Windows applications for which to redirect all traffic for inspection or even applications for which to block network traffic altogether. In addition, the Barracuda Web Security Agent supports "application whitelisting" to restrict network traffic from any applications not specified by IT administrators, preventing their unauthorised use.
To enable the use of the Barracuda Web Security Agent in different deployment scenarios, administrators can specify a password required to uninstall the Barracuda Web Security Agent even if the end user has administrative rights on their own computer. Administrators can also specify whether users are allowed to temporarily disable clients or to stop the service. With these capabilities, administrators can tailor their rollout of the Barracuda Web Security Agent to match the needs of their organisation.
All policy settings specific to the Barracuda Web Security Agent can be centrally managed for all clients from within the Barracuda Web Filter administrative interface.