SOURCE: Secure Computing

October 10, 2007 08:00 ET

Secure Computing Webwasher Guards Michigan School District Students and Faculty Against Internet Threats

Web Gateway Security Appliance Protects Students and Staff From Web-Based Threats; Minimizes Risk and Costs Associated With Administration and Management

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - October 10, 2007) - Secure Computing® Corporation (NASDAQ: SCUR), a leading enterprise gateway security company, today announced that Michigan-based Howell Public School District is protecting students and faculty from Internet-based risk using Secure Computing's Webwasher® product. The Web gateway appliance enables the district to: (1) filter all Web site access for safe surfing, preserving the integrity of the Internet as a valuable and educational information resource; (2) scan all inbound and outbound interactions -- including encrypted Web traffic -- for viruses and other malware, offensive content and more; and (3) reduce and minimize costs involved in administration, updates, management and reporting.

"Webwasher makes it possible for us to protect our students and staff from malicious Web-based threats," commented Paul Pominville, technology director, Howell Public School District. "It's easy to manage and it works. It does exactly what we need it to without tedious administration or tweaking."

Before turning to Webwasher, the Howell Public School District used separate filtering, firewall, and desktop anti-virus products, but these ultimately failed to meet all their needs. After conducting an exhaustive evaluation, they found that numerous Web protections were offered in a single, easy-to-deploy and -administer Web gateway security appliance -- Secure Computing Webwasher. "It was the perfect solution for our needs," said Pominville.

One of the problems noted by Pominville is that tech-savvy students had been able to find ways around previous security and filtering products. For example, he said they'd set up SSL-based proxies from home, bypassing the previous filter and exposing the network to malicious code or files.

"In many cases, kids are more technically skilled than their teachers and parents," said Pominville. "They might be done with an assignment in 10 minutes, giving them the rest of the class hour looking for ways around the filter, or to try to poke holes in the firewall," he said. "Obviously, we needed to put a stop to this by using SSL scanning, and Webwasher does this beautifully." The appliance blocks remote proxy access altogether, in fact, protecting students from using so-called "anonymizers," image caching (such as Google Image Cache) or encrypted sites to bypass filtering technologies. "We're now able to consistently enforce a 'SafeSearch' option across all student PCs in our network," said Pominville.

In order to prevent malware from infecting the Howell Public School District network, the Webwasher appliance leverages next-generation reputation technology as a "first line of defense."

"Secure Computing's TrustedSource™ reputation-based global intelligence technology actually blocks the lion's share of malicious content -- including the spyware, viruses, zombies, phishing scams and Trojans that come along with it -- even before it reaches the anti-spam or anti-malware engines," noted Ken Rutsky, vice president of product marketing, Secure Computing. "It does this by determining -- using 'real-time' behavior analysis -- the 'trustworthiness' of every website, URL, domain, e-mail message, or other content or image in existence. If any of these have a poor reputation or 'reputation score,' they're automatically and immediately blocked." Also, powerful Webwasher technology proactively filters all Internet traffic -- including encrypted traffic -- on the network in search of anything potentially harmful.

Another great benefit of Webwasher is that it saves IT staff time and money. "It gives us peace of mind," reported Pominville, "while removing the burden of manual patches, updates and reports." He explained: "For example, we need to run investigative reports on specific users approximately once a week, and Webwasher does this efficiently, shaving hours off the process we experienced with competitive systems." He continued: "I also no longer waste time doing things like tracking proxy servers being used by students. Webwasher's advanced technology and reporting capabilities do that for me. It takes the headache out of administration and management."

With the new appliance from Secure Computing in place, Howell Public School District officials are no longer concerned about students getting around Web filters to visit inappropriate or dangerous destinations on the Internet. "I know Webwasher really works because the students tell me so. They used to brag about their achievements in getting around the filter or firewall; now, if they try to circumvent the system they get a 'blocked site' message every time! It's funny really," added Pominville.

About Howell Public School District

Located in southeastern Michigan, Howell Public Schools includes 12 schools serving 8,500 students in grades K-12. It also incorporates a community college that allows students to earn an associate's degree while completing high school. Technology plays a major role throughout the district facilities, including a first-of-its-kind high-tech store that utilizes radio frequency identification (RFID). A lean staff of four IT professionals serves the entire network.

About Secure Computing:

Secure Computing (NASDAQ: SCUR), a leading provider of enterprise gateway security, delivers a comprehensive set of solutions that help customers protect their critical Web, email and network assets. Over half the Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 are part of our more than 20,000 global customers in 106 countries, supported by a worldwide network of more than 2,300 partners. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and has offices worldwide. For more information, see http://www.securecomputing.com

This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the anticipated delivery of Webwasher to the Howell Public School District and the expected benefits of such relationship, and such statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are delays in product development, undetected software errors or bugs, competitive pressures, technical difficulties, changes in customer requirements, general economic conditions and the risk factors detailed from time to time in Secure Computing's periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Information

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