IT security and control firm Sophos has announced enhanced URL categorisation with a database of 24-million sites for its Web appliance, the WS1000. Systems administrators can now also quickly and easily create and enforce group-specific policies.

Designed to deliver trusted content security, application control and URL filtering in a single appliance, the WS1000 ensures a secure Web browsing experience as it protects against all forms of malware and productivity threats, combining security and URL filtering to ensure that users are supported with continuously updated threat definitions.
“It now also provides businesses with greater control, management and oversight of their Web security solutions,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of master Sophos distributor, NetXactics.
Sophos’s recent research, detailed in the Sophos threat report, shows that a new infected Web page is found and blocked by Sophos every 14 seconds.
“As the majority of businesses now have security solutions in place to defend traditional vectors of attack, such as infected email attachments, cybercriminals have honed their approach – emailing links to infected Web pages in sophisticated socially engineered emails, as well as using Web ads and other marketing tactics to get victims to their sites,” Myroff says.
Legitimate Web sites are increasingly being targeted by hackers to host malware in an attempt to circumvent conventional security measures and trick unwary users, he adds.
“Sitting at the gateway, the WS1000 allows administrators to secure their networks against these modern Web attacks that traditional URL filtering techniques, relying on URL categorisation, cannot defend against.”
Powered by SophosLabs – a global network of researchers and analysts which constantly monitors billions of Web pages for new malware, virus, spyware and phishing threats – the WS1000 is automatically updated every couple of minutes with the latest threat defences, including updated proactive technology and malicious URLs.
With advanced policy control via a simple Web-based management console, the WS1000 also allows for group, user, content-type and time-based polices to be easily configured against a database of 24-million sites, divided into 54 URL categories, to protect against productivity, security, legal and bandwidth risks.
The WS1000 provides 13 key reports, allowing administrators to quickly analyse security threats, recognise policy violators and identify top bandwidth users, amongst others.  All reports are generated in real-time, facilitating instant reaction and increased network control.
"Current URL filters are cumbersome to manage and ineffective at addressing the growing threats against the Web.  As Web threats propagate quickly, organisations need a solution that takes the guesswork out of security by automatically identifying and protecting against threats before they impact operations,” Myroff concludes.