SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 19 -- Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCSI), a leader in WAN Application Delivery and Secure Web Gateway, today announced new enhancements to its Blue Coat® ProxySG® appliances that expand the options and flexibility for support of enterprise authentication processes that verify a network user's identity. Verified identity is essential to grant or limit access to certain applications, determine network priority and bandwidth, assign group membership or apply other permissions or controls. Blue Coat ProxySG appliances are the only WAN optimization solution to offer integrated authentication. In addition, the new enhancements to ProxySG extend its lead in providing the most extensive and flexible authentication options for Secure Web Gateway deployments that combine Web security, policy control and acceleration.
Authentication is Essential
Authentication is critical for WAN optimization, because it enables acceleration or prioritization of traffic to be performed based on the individual or the group to which the individual belongs, as well as the type of application the individual is using. Different individuals or groups will have different privileges and levels of access. A salesperson in a branch office, for instance, may have a higher priority than a staff marketing employee in accessing the company's centralized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application over the WAN. Similarly, authentication is essential to Secure Web Gateway solutions in order to apply security and control policies with granularity based on specific users.
While authentication is important to WAN optimization and Secure Web Gateway deployments, it is difficult to provide because of the management required and the need to support a wide variety of authentication mechanisms. Extended authentication from Blue Coat addresses both authentication management and methods of authenticating. The new features are incorporated in the latest release of operating system software for Blue Coat ProxySG appliances, SGOS 5.2. The features include:
Management for Extended Authentication
Permit Authentication Error -- a feature that enables administrators to permit users full or partial access to network resources, even if they have not been successfully authenticated (perhaps because of invalid or out-of-date credentials). This feature can provide someone having login difficulty the ability to communicate with a help desk or other areas deemed appropriate by the company.
Guest Authentication -- a feature that enables administrators to permit users to access the network on a limited basis as a guest and assign various authentication and authorization attributes, including the ability to track user Internet activity.
User Management -- a set of features that provides administrators granular control over users logged into the network, such as the ability to view all active users, and the ability to limit the number of logins for a particular computer or IP address or the number of IP addresses that can be allowed per user. In addition, the administrator can provide a logout URL for users to manually logout, set limits for login times and require re-authentication after a certain length of time.
Methods for Extended Authentication
Blue Coat ProxySG appliances have long offered the industry's most extensive range of authentication mechanisms. Supported authentication includes:
o Active Directory
o NTLM (NT LAN Manager)
o RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service)
o LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)
o Digital X.509 Certificates
o Novell eDirectory
o Oracle COREid
o RSA SecureID tokens
o Secure Computing SafeWord tokens
o CA eTrust Siteminder
o And many others
In addition to existing authentication support, ProxySG appliances now offer XML Realm authentication support, which uses Web 2.0 technology to enable customers to support new or non-standard authentication systems. XML Realm authentication support provides an easy scripting facility for customers to create integration points for different authentication types.
Blue Coat ProxySG appliances integrate authentication mechanisms for applications using Web (HTTP) and Secure Web (HTTPS), FTP, CIFS, MAPI, and protocols for instant messaging, streaming media and peer-to-peer file sharing. In addition, ProxySG appliances can support multiple users sharing the same IP address in virtualization environments, such as with Citrix Presentation Server.
"Blue Coat ProxySG appliances provide a rich, flexible platform for WAN optimization and Secure Web Gateway and support all common systems for authenticating user identities," said Bethany Mayer, senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Blue Coat Systems. "ProxySG appliances know each user, which is something unique in the WAN optimization market and enables access and acceleration decisions based on individual users and applications."
Price and Availability
Extended authentication is available in the latest release of operating system software for Blue Coat ProxySG appliances, SGOS 5.2, which is now the standard shipping version of the product. There is no extra cost for the features. Existing customers with maintenance contracts can download the software at no charge.
Blue Coat ProxySG Appliances
ProxySG appliances protect enterprises or organizations against malware, including Web viruses and spyware, provide URL filtering and manage the use of Internet applications for policy or bandwidth consumption, including instant messaging, streaming media and peer-to-peer file sharing. ProxySG appliances also accelerate business-critical applications or content at the Internet gateway or across an organization's Wide Area Network (WAN).
About Blue Coat Systems
Blue Coat secures Web communications and accelerates business applications across the distributed enterprise. Blue Coat's family of appliances and client-based solutions -- deployed in branch offices, Internet gateways, end points, and data centers -- provide intelligent points of policy-based control enabling IT organizations to optimize security and accelerate performance between users and applications. Blue Coat has installed more than 40,000 appliances worldwide. Blue Coat is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and can be reached at (408) 220-2200 or http://www.bluecoat.com/.
Source: Blue Coat Systems, Inc.
Blue Coat Systems
Loughlin/Michaels Group for Blue Coat Systems