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Barracuda Adds Social Media Controls to Web Filter

Barracuda Networks, the Campbell, California-based maker of security, networking and data protection solutions, has released new firmware for their Web filter customers, which adds monitoring and archiving functions for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media applications.

Customers of Barracuda’s Web filtering are eligible for an upgrade to version 6.0, which includes enforcement and monitoring abilities for social media.

Barracuda Networks Web Filter 6.0According to a recent study from Barracuda, 86 percent of respondents felt that employee behavior on social networks could endanger company security. Despite those concerns, social media is still widely used – 75 percent of respondents’ workplaces allow the use of Twitter and 69 percent of respondents’ workplaces allow the use of Facebook.

“Organizations are realizing that employee behavior on social networks can impact productivity, network performance and even company security,” said Stephen Pao, vice president of product management for Barracuda Networks.

“However, prior security initiatives to simply block inappropriate content and malware are no longer sufficient. As social media becomes more ingrained in the workplace, organizations must focus on how to ‘allow’ social media while keeping the workplace safe.”

The three main benefits of this update, the security firm said, include social media archiving (wall posts, comments, chat, Direct Messages, etc.); SSL inspection for forensics use (particularly important as many of the social platforms now connect via https) and granular policy creation for more than 400 Web applications.

Upgrades to version 6.0 are available immediately at no additional charge to existing Barracuda Web Filter customers, as long as they are on an active update subscription plan. Otherwise, Barracuda Web Filter pricing in North America ranges from US $1,499 to US $89,999 depending on model, with no per user fees.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.