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Verizon Service Combats Web Threats

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2007-03-07 Print this article Print

A new set of services from Verizon Business offers Web site filtering to track and control Internet use by employees, as well as spyware and spam detection.

Verizon Business has expanded its presence in the managed security space with a new set of services targeted at enterprises.

Verizon Business, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., is a unit of Verizon Communications. The company launched its Managed Web Content Service today, offering large businesses a way to detect Web-based threats such as spyware and phishing before they affect computer networks. In addition, Verizon is offering to monitor Internet use by employees.

"We are bringing this to market to address the threats that businesses face," said Cindy Bellefeuille, Verizon Business' director of security product management, in an interview with eWEEK.

Companies can control employee Web surfing down to the most granular level, she said. For example, she explained, an enterprise can prevent workers from visiting sports sites during football season.

The prospect of users inadvertently threatening their networks with extracurricular Web surfing is nothing new. Research released by FaceTime Communications in January found 39 percent of users believe they should be allowed to "install the applications they need on their work computers," independent of IT oversight or policy, and 53 percent of users "tend to disregard" company policies that govern greynet usage, specifically IM and peer-to-peer file sharing. The same study meanwhile found 80 percent of IT managers work at locations that experienced greynet-related attacks between August 2006 and January 2007.

"This really provides a tool for that area," Bellefeuille said.

The new service includes an anti-virus service that scans Web traffic to identify known viruses and detect characteristics of potential threats. In addition, a spyware service denies access to Web sites that exhibit potential threats from spyware, malware and phishing.

"More and more, the Internet is used as an enabler of key business functions and collaboration, increasing its importance to organizations of every type," said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon Business, in a statement. "Verizon Managed Web Content Services offer customers an effective line of defense for proactively protecting key assets while helping to reduce the potential negative impact on employee productivity and an organization's reputation and brand."

Verizon officials said no channel partners are involved in providing the services; they will be sold directly through Verizon Business.

Check out eWEEK.com's Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK's Security Watch blog.

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