CacheFlow wears a new coat

CacheFlow has released a Web site security product and rebranded itself as Bluecoat Systems to reflect a change in emphasis as...

CacheFlow has released a Web site security product and rebranded itself as Bluecoat Systems to reflect a change in emphasis as cacheing technology loses its specialist status, writes Eric Doyle.

Over the past year or so the company has moved away from straightforward cacheing for improved Web site responses and Secure Sockets Layer processing by adding extra security layers. This has proved necessary as improved bandwidth and the embedding of caching in standard products has made point solutions less attractive.

Nigel Hawthorn, CacheFlow's European marketing director, said, "We will still be selling our range of products under the new company name but we are also introducing security gateways based on the experience we have gained in packet filtering."

The new product is designed to run in series or parallel with existing firewalls. These generally leave port 80, which is configured for Web traffic, vulnerable to attack. According to a Business Week Online report, 70% of all intrusion attempts now target port 80.

Using filtering methods, packets passing through the port will be examined according to a user-defined policy to ensure that only sanctioned data passes through. The filter control list can be governed by technical parameters such as header contents or Mime (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) type or according to the time of day the packet is received. "The administrator will be able to tightly specify who can access what and what can be accessed outside," Hawthorn said.

A useful function of the Port 80 Access Appliance is its ability to scan packets for information relating to a company's intranet. This information is usually irrelevant outside the corporate network but can give useful information to would-be hackers, such as domain names and e-mail addresses. Once the information has been located it can then be stripped out before the data passes across to the Internet.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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