Barracuda Networks Inc has added an instant-messaging security appliance to its product line which combines all the features that are normally associated with an IM gateway combined with those of an internal IM server in a single box.
Last month, the Mountain View, California-based vendor moved to increase the reach of its spam firewall line with the addition of a spyware-removal feature to destroy malware from previously infected desktop computers. It is broadening its position again with the launch of the IM appliance series.
The IM gateway captures all public IM service traffic and scans all incoming and outgoing traffic for viruses and screens all file transfers, said Paul Thackeray, the vendor’s MD for EMEA. The secure internal IM server has a built-in database to handle the storage of all IM logs for periods up to five years. The server can also be set up to add 256-bit AES banking-strength encryption to internal IM messages, he said.
The new Barracuda IM Firewall, which will become available by the end of the month, starts at around $3,000, comes in five models, and will cater to up to 7,000 users in a single system. We see that as being 20% to 25% cheaper than other offerings, and there are no user licensing fees, said Thackeray.
Administrators can also set up a policy so that the system scans and identifies keywords in IM messages to flag, filter, or block message content that violates company policy.
The system comes with its own IM client, which the company describes as being a zero configuration install meaning that users can install it without any complicated set-up procedures. The Barracuda IM Firewall client can be used to access secure internal IM and messages sent across all the popular consumer IM services such as AOL, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, or Google Talk. The appliance uses a system of roster push tools to seed its own IM client with the details of any contact lists already established by users of these public IM services.