SurfControl Launches Instant Message Filter for Enterprises

Apr 15, 2003

SurfControl has announced the launch of SurfControl Instant Message Filter, a product for helping enterprises manage the growing use of Instant Messaging (IM) and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. SurfControl Instant Message Filter enables companies to control the risks of unauthorized use of public IM and P2P to increase network security, optimize network resources and bandwidth consumption, reduce legal liability, and increase user productivity. Rather than simply blocking all such communications SurfControl's product identifies specific IM and P2P services to selectively block or enable communications according to each service's protocol signatures in the communications. Network administrators can manage communication flow across the enterprise by specific IP address, group or subnetwork. SurfControl Instant Message Filter will be offered as a separate product that customers can layer with other SurfControl filtering products to stop unauthorized file sharing and use of IM. The new filter addresses the IM and P2P communications risks related to security penetrating techniques and protocols, including breached corporate firewalls, network-wide virus infections, legal liability, and the inadvertent or malicious release of confidential data. SurfControl's Instant Message Filter manages communications from many public IM service providers, including America Online, MSN, and Yahoo, as well as file sharing protocols like, Kazaa and Morpheus. SurfControl Instant Message Filter features includes: Ability to block and manage IM protocols, AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Instant Messenger, ICQ, Windows, and Yahoo Messenger; Ability to block and manage P2P file-sharing protocols, FastTrack Network (Kazaa and Grokster), Gnutella Network (Morpheus, BearShare, Gnucleus, LimeWire, Phex, XoloX); Customizable message and user notification of acceptable use policy violations; Network reporting capabilities that enable network administrators to gather and analyze data, such as usage patterns, by the type of IM or P2P communication; and Special pass-by technology that scans network traffic for rogue and unauthorized IM and P2P traffic. SurfControl Instant Message Filter will be available mid-May. SurfControl Instant Message Filter is an optional component available to users of either SurfControl Web or E-mail Filters and costs an average of $7 per user based on an installation of 1,000 users.