Web Security Gateway adds new SSL Inspection and Chromebook security features

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We are pleased to announce that Barracuda Web Security Gateway version 10.0 is now available.  This latest firmware version adds SSL Inspection capabilities to certain hardware models.  You can see the release notes here for more details.

With version 10.0, Barracuda Web Security Gateway 410 hardware appliance now includes full SSL Inspection while the Barracuda Web Security Gateway 310 hardware appliance now includes a Safe Search feature.  As the use of online transactions and web-enabled apps have increased, SSL traffic has exploded on the Internet.  SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a cryptographic protocol that establishes an encrypted link between two points.  This encryption is required to keep the transmitted data private from unauthorized parties that may be attempting to intercept the traffic.  Encryption like this is standard for external facing websites and apps, like Google Apps, Facebook, Amazon, and more.  SSL encryption may also be deployed internally as an added security layer  for a company.

This increase in the use of SSL has led to a handful of administration issues.   The new SSL Inspection features on the 310 and 410 models help the SMB market address these issues.  You can see details on these features in this Barracuda Campus documentation.

Barracuda Web Security Gateway version 10.1 provides an exciting new feature via the Barracuda Chromebook Security Extension.  This feature enables schools and other organizations to enforce the WSG policies on Chromebooks via a browser plugin, even if the Chromebooks are outside the school or organization network.  Chromebooks have been growing in popularity; this year alone in North America, Chromebooks accounted for half of K-12 device shipments.

The Barracuda Chromebook Security Extension provides a complete set of policy-related functions to the Chromebook, without the need for a proxy and certificate.   This is a lightweight, elegant solution that operates in the browser.  Here's how it works:

  • When the user logs in to the Chromebook with network credentials, the user information is seamlessly passed to the Web Security Gateway.  There's no need for multiple logins here; the Barracuda Chromebook Security Extension provides Single Sign-On capability at this point.
  • Filtering policy is applied regardless of network location, while inside the school network or outside, from home or public wifi the user is provided the same, safe internet browsing experience.
  • The extension will communicate with the Barracuda Web Security Gateway at regular intervals.  This is when it delivers its logs and synchronizes policies. In case of loss of ability to communicate with WSG, the extension falls back to the last known policy.
  • The extension communicates directly with the Barracuda Web Categorization Service, which means it can provide web filtering based on the most up-to-date information in the WCS system.   For more information on the WCS, see this blog post.

Put simply, the Barracuda Chromebook Security Extension is like a mini web filter for Chromebooks.  It enforces the most recent policies and provides URL filtering against an always up-to-date categorization service.  It delivers all of this functionality to each Chromebook without any performance impact on the device.

The Barracuda Web Security Gateway version 10.1 with the Chromebook Security Extension will be available around mid-July.  If you would like to be a beta tester, contact us here.

These updates are available to Barracuda Web Security Gateway customers with an Energize Updates subscription.   You can update directly from your WSG admin panel.

If you would like more information about the Barracuda Web Security Gateway, visit our corporate site here.

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