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Advice for CIOs on implementing an effective strategy that prevents circumvention attempts
EdgeWave Inc. develops and markets on demand, on-premises, and hybrid Secure Content Management (SCM) solutions to the mid-enterprise and service provider markets. The company is recognized for delivering comprehensive secure content management solutions with unrivalled ease of deployment and the lowest TCO on the market. The company’s award winning solutions include “iPrism” Web Security, and “ePrism” Messaging Security which includes email filtering, email continuity, data loss protection, encryption and email archive. EdgeWave strives to deliver simple, high performance solutions that offer excellent value.

In the following interview, Steve Brunetto, Director of Product Management of EdgeWave discusses with Network Products Guide, editor-in-chief of Network Products Guide, advice for CIOs on implementing an effective strategy that prevents circumvention attempts.

Network Products Guide: What are circumvention tools and what should enterprises know about these?

Steve Brunetto:
Enterprises implement web security policies because they understand the need to protect the company from the vast array of security threats on the web that can lead to malware infections, data leakage, and compliance violations. Enterprises also put in place acceptable internet use policies to prevent the misuse of their networking resources, to protect their companies from legal liability due to employee abuse, and as productivity tools to eliminate time-wasting activities. Circumvention tools are designed to allow users to bypass web security and internet filtering and allow access to blocked sites reintroducing these risks to the enterprise. While some users seek out the tools to intentionally violate company policy, others are looking for an easier way to get their job done. Many just want to have the same freedom on the web they are accustomed to having at home. Circumvention tools range from simplistic web sites that act as proxies to hide the actual destination web site URL from the web security system, to sophisticated tools that use client installed software and advanced techniques to avoid being blocked. These sophisticated tools were designed to help citizens of oppressive regimes access censored political content. As such, they are often well funded and continually updated to evade filtering.
Network Products Guide: So why is defense really difficult and what type of solutions are currently available?

Steve Brunetto:
The list of anonymizer sites and circumvention tools is ever increasing, and the tools are continually evolving to avoid detection and filtering. Funding from government entities and charitable political organizations for tools that bypass government censorship result in sophisticated and readily available software and methods for evading web security. For example, Ultrasurf is an application that allows the users to encrypt their traffic to hide it from detection and can be run from a thumbdrive without being installed on their workstation. Tor is an anonymity network that uses multiple layers of encryption and a worldwide volunteer network of servers to obscure traffic from monitoring and filtering. Many web security solutions fail to keep up with the ever growing and changing list of servers that enable these types of tools. EdgeWave leverages hundreds of virtual machines in our scalable cloud data center to detect thousands of externally-hosted non-web servers used by various circumvention tools to proxy or re-route users’ web requests. We then correlate and filter these IP addresses against those of known legitimate web sites to eliminate false positives. This transparent process enables our iPrism appliance to inspect outbound traffic and block circumvention tools from connecting to their server networks. EdgeWave’s Circumvention Defense Network (CDN) is continuously detecting new circumvention attempts in the cloud. When new versions of circumvention tools are detected, the iPrism is automatically loaded with the information to block them without requiring IT to update the iPrism or wait for a new release.
Network Products Guide: What advice would you give CIOs on implementing an effective strategy on preventing circumvention attempts?

Steve Brunetto:
CIOs understand the importance of having effective web security policies and enforcement and know that they can’t afford to let users bypass these controls. Choosing a web security solution that includes best of breed circumvention defense is a necessity. The system must be automatically and continually updated. CIOs should look for a system that is seamlessly deployed to their users and maintains the lowest level of false-positives in order to avoid over-blocking. EdgeWave’s CDN is cloud enabled and always up to date. It is easily deployed and does not require SSL certificates to be installed on each workstation for traffic decryption. It also creates no known false positives, which eliminates concerns about over-blocking. EdgeWave blocks the top client-based circumvention tools including Ultrasurf, Tor, Jap and FreeGate in addition to the constantly changing list of proxies available on the web. It also delivers continuous protection without incurring any network latency. Strong circumvention defense is an essential piece of any web security solution.

Company: EdgeWave
15333 Avenue of Science,
San Diego, CA 92128 U.S.A.

Founded in: 1995
CEO: Lou Ryan
Products and Services: Web and Email Security
Company’s Goals: EdgeWave strives to deliver simple, high performance solutions that offer excellent value. 

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