Product Watch: AppRiver's SecureSurf Simplifies Malware Protection And Web Filtering

New service offers combination of DNS and proxy technology for Web filtering
AppRiver earlier this week introduced SecureSurf, a Web content filtering service that uses both DNS and proxy technology to defend against online threats.

SecureSurf enables businesses of all sizes to block infected websites and enforce corporate browsing policies, according to Scott Cutler, COO of AppRiver.

"Some players out there are doing DNS-based Web protection, and others are using proxies," Cutler said. "We felt we needed to go to a combination of the two."

SecureSurf incorporates security information from a variety of sources, including research done for the company's own spam filtering service. The SecureSurf process checks targeted websites against a continuously updated list of websites known to distribute malware or viruses, or that contain pornography and other objectionable content.

SecureSurf also allows companies to establish comprehensive Web surfing policies, monitor Web usage, and create whitelists of known good sites. For those websites that appear to be suspicious, the service directs these sites to a hosted proxy server, which can conduct a rapid, detailed content analysis, the company says.

"Some of the services we've looked at require a lot of upkeep," says Chris Brush, Web and IT administrator at Kee Safety, a SecureSurf beta tester. "With the AppRiver service, it's set it and forget it."

Unlike other Web filtering services that inhibit Web surfing performance by forcing all traffic through a proxy server, SecureSurf’s DNS lookup engine can immediately determine whether or not a site violates a company’s policy, the company says. Customers can set policies for handling traffic from questionable sites, and these sites can be further evaluated through a hosted proxy server.

SecureSurf customers can install an agent on individual machines to ensure each machine is configured for the most accurate website traffic evaluation -- even if a user is working remotely or through a noncorporate network, the company says. The agent provides machine-by-machine reporting of Web surfing activities and can also confirm active safe surfing functionality on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask search engines.

SecureSurf is available immediately. Pricing is affected by a client’s configuration, but an annual subscripton is about $4.95 per user, Cutler says.

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