SOURCE: Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc.

November 30, 2009 16:05 ET

Bit.ly Leverages Websense to Analyze Millions of Web Sites and Content Daily to Protect Users From Spam, Phishing and Malware

Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud Arms Bit.ly With Advanced Web Reputation, Web Security and Content Classification Technology to Protect End Users From Web 2.0 Threats

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 30, 2009) - Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in integrated Web, data and email security solutions, today announced that bit.ly -- a leading URL shortening service for Web 2.0 sites and for micro-blogging services like Twitter and Tweetdeck -- will leverage the Websense® ThreatSeeker® Cloud to analyze and categorize the Web sites and content behind millions of shortened bit.ly URLs created daily to protect end users from emerging Web 2.0 threats.

The carrier-grade Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud is a security-as-a-service that delivers Web, data and email security intelligence to third-party solution providers like bit.ly and others, through the proven cloud-based infrastructure that powers all Websense content security products, including on-premise and security-as-a-service Web security gateway, email security and data loss prevention solutions. This infrastructure is used and trusted across millions of users and billions of transactions daily.

"bit.ly is one of the largest sharing services on the Web, with millions of shortened URLs created every day," said Andrew Cohen, bit.ly's general manager. "A large part of our success is due to the trust users have in our service and we work hard to earn that trust by warning our users about spam and malicious content."

bit.ly URL shortening service use continues to increase exponentially. In October, the company shortened more than two billion links, helping to enable communication on the Web, through services like Twitter and Facebook and in email and instant messaging. By the end of the year bit.ly plans to begin processing millions of existing and newly created shortened links through the Web API of the Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud daily.

"With the Websense security-as-a-service API powering our security intelligence, we will be able to better serve our customers and enable their use of Web 2.0 social media technology while protecting them from the latest threats," Cohen added.

In the cloud, Websense will conduct full content analysis for the IP sources, Web sites and Web content behind bit.ly links, including categorization and reputation analysis of the URL, property type, lexical and search reputation, history, age, geography, neighboring properties and more. If a user attempts to click on a bit.ly link that leads to Web content determined by Websense to be malicious, spam or a known phishing site, bit.ly will display an alert describing the threat potential and provide the user the choice to safely navigate away.

"Solving the unique content security needs for a Web 2.0 service like bit.ly through the Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud is an extension of the protection we provide thousands of enterprise customers worldwide through our security-as-a-service solutions," said Devin Redmond, Websense vice president, product management and business development. "As the market leader in content security, our security-as-a-service solutions allow organizations to access unparalleled threat intelligence and protection from Web, data and email security threats. The security issues Websense addresses for URL shortening services and social media users would have been impossible only a few years ago -- and today this protection is only made possible by our breakthrough, scalable cloud-based security-as-a-service infrastructure and the Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud."


In addition to providing security and classification intelligence to bit.ly users, users will now be able to report spam to abuse@bit.ly and have their feedback become part of the classification and threat protection for all Websense subscribers.

"I like the approach bit.ly is taking to check existing links in case they've become compromised, rather than simply just scanning new links added to the database," said Rich Mogull, analyst, Securosis. "This will reduce the chances of the bad guys gaming the system by adding a clean version of their site for an initial scan, then adding malware after the fact for future visits. This solution is a lot better than the anti-phishing built into browsers and some search engines, since those rely only on databases of previously-discovered known bad sites."

About bit.ly

bitly is one of the largest sharing platforms on the Web. bit.ly allows users to shorten, share and track links (URLs). Reducing the URL length makes sharing easier. bit.ly can be accessed through our Web site, bookmarklets and a robust and open API. bit.ly is also integrated into several popular third-party tools such as Tweetdeck. A more full list of third party tools can be found on the bit.ly blog. Unique user-level and aggregate links are created, allowing users to view complete, real-time traffic and referrer data, as well as location and metadata. Tracking stats are available after users shorten their long links with bit.ly by clicking on the "Info+" link on bit.ly, or just adding a "+" sign to the end of any bit.ly link (for example, http://bit.ly/n0og+).

About Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in integrated Web, data and email security solutions, provides Essential Information Protection™ for more than 40,000 customers. Distributed through its global network of channel partners, Websense software, appliance and software-as-a-service (SaaS) security solutions help organizations block malicious code, prevent the loss of confidential information and enforce Internet use and security policies. For more information, visit www.websense.com.

Follow Websense on Twitter at www.twitter.com/websense and www.twitter.com/WebsenseLabs.

Copyright 2009 Websense, Inc. All rights reserved.

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