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Websense Plans Leak Prevention Software

Websense on Wednesday unveiled plans for a new line of software to help companies control sensitive information and prevent leaks of confidential data.

software

To help deliver the technology, dubbed Deep Content Control, Websense has inked an OEM agreement with PortAuthority Technologies, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup in the information leak prevention space that this week landed $18 million in venture capital funding.

PortAuthority's technology monitors internal and outbound traffic and detects when certain types of data are made available outside a company's protected data infrastructure. It then quarantines the data or encrypts it to prevent it from being accessed by unauthorized users.

Websense will leverage PortAuthority's technology to develop software that allows organizations to control where users go, how they get there and what information they can send or use, said Leo Cole, vice president of marketing at Websense. The San Diego-based company plans to roll out the new software in the first half of 2007.

"This is a space we believe is going to be hot because it solves a major problem in enterprises: keeping sensitive data from leaking out," Cole said. The software also will enable companies to meet regulatory requirements for safeguarding corporate data as well as guard intellectual property, he added.

Leak prevention solutions that use deep content inspection have a great potential return on investment, and many customers have been asking for such solutions, said Larry Dannemiller, president of BSSI, a Houston-based security integrator.

"Information leakage is one of the biggest concerns they have, especially when employees leave companies," Dannemiller said.

Websense chose PortAuthority because of the synergy between the two vendors' technologies, according to Cole. For example, the addition of PortAuthority's leak prevention technology will enable Websense partners with content filtering expertise to get into areas such as policy management and reporting, he said.

"If you marry those two together, you have a powerful system for managing employees inside the network," Cole said. "It's a much more deep integration than just an API."

To help sell the new product line, Websense plans to enlist about 50 security VARs with expertise in providing vulnerability assessment services, Cole said. Websense also will provide education, training and certification programs to help the rest of its channel partners get up to speed on selling and supporting the technology.

"These products will require some policy-setting rules, and we'll be training our resellers and working with them to co-develop services offerings with beta code to make sure they're ready when the product launches next year," Cole said.

Sean Rice, director of sales and marketing at ACP, a Birmingham, Ala.-based solution provider, said Websense's move into leak prevention makes sense. "They already do content filtering at the gateway anyway, so being able to have a more granular filtering capability is probably a good move," he said.

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