Astaro 7.4 Defeats UltraSurf

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Latest version of Astaro balances multiple Internet connections and scans encrypted content.

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SSL tunneling applications are used to surf to sites that would otherwise be blocked, and we are seeing increased use in environments like schools. Students physically bring in programs like UltraSurf on USB sticks and use it to circumvent Web Security measures

Astaro (http://www.astaro.com), leading vendor of network security appliances, today announced the availability of version 7.4 of its Astaro Gateway product offering, including Astaro Security Gateway, Astaro Web Gateway and Astaro Mail Gateway. Including HTTPS URL Filtering, WAN link balancing and site-to-site SSL VPN capabilities, version 7.4 boasts more than 200 new security features and upgrades.

Competitors like SonicWall have been unable to manage popular SSL tunneling programs like Ultrasurf -- portable, adaptive software applications which are used to bypass web security policies. Astaro’s Web Security engine has been enhanced to block programs which are used to evade security policies by abusing HTTPS, a common port used for secure web surfing. Scanning HTTPS provides the ability to deny such applications and ensure that network policy will remain intact. Blocking these applications also stops malware that can infect the network via the encrypted protocol, which gives many vendors problems.

“SSL tunneling applications are used to surf to sites that would otherwise be blocked, and we are seeing increased use in environments like schools. Students physically bring in programs like UltraSurf on USB sticks and use it to circumvent Web Security measures,” explains Jan Hichert, Astaro CEO. “The portability of such programs, combined with their use of HTTPS—which often cannot be scanned—introduces a serious security risk. Students are accessing inappropriate material, and teachers are even using these programs to surf freely on their breaks. The HTTPS URL Filtering provided by Astaro’s 7.4 Web Security engine is now a necessity for a secure network.”

The new filtering engine of Astaro’s version 7.4 also allows users to filter and control secure web traffic (HTTPS). With inferior web security solutions, users can circumvent the security policy simply by accessing sites over HTTPS, which encrypts the session between the client browser and the target destination. Astaro’s version 7.4 intercepts encrypted HTTPS traffic and examines the content for malware, stops spyware infections, and controls what types of sites can be accessed.

The 7.4 release also features new WAN link balancing, which combines the use of multiple Internet connections. Astaro succeeds in this area against competitors by providing the ability to balance up to eight individual connections with a single click which automatically balances all connections. Administrators can also set specific rules for how traffic will use the connections, and the entire system provides intelligent, automatic fail over in the event any of them experiences an outage. As companies seek to cut down on operating costs in a struggling economy, using multiple smaller Internet connections can grant large savings vs. corporate lines, while providing redundancy.

Astaro’s 7.4 release also extends its popular road warrior SSL VPN technology to site-to-site, allowing users to create permanent tunnels between Astaro Gateways. Astaro’s site-to-site SSL VPN provides a simple means of permanently connecting two gateways while supplying the security level of an IPsec VPN tunnel. Version 7.4 includes many other new features and improvements that have been requested by partners and users over the past few months, such as report exports in PDF and CSV format and support for Cisco’s IPsec VPN client.

For more information, see the datasheet here.

Pricing and Availability
Astaro Security Gateway V7.4 is available immediately via Astaro's global partner network. Astaro customers can download the latest version at http://www.astaro.com. The latest release of Astaro Security Gateway V7.4 is available as a virtual appliance or software ISO starting at a list price of $345, or pre-installed on Astaro’s hardware appliances. Astaro Web Gateway and Astaro Mail Gateway are available on the hardware models 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 starting at a list price of $995. The web and mail filter solutions are also available as a virtual appliance.

About Astaro
Astaro offers the most complete and easy to use Internet security appliances available. Combining best of breed applications, the proven quality of Linux and enterprise level performance, Astaro’s award-winning products provide the latest protection with the best total cost of ownership. Software, hardware and virtual appliance offerings provide users the flexibility to meet a wide variety of deployment scenarios. Distributed by a growing worldwide network of more than 3,000 resellers, Astaro products protect over 100,000 networks for 47,000 customers across 60 countries. Astaro, headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA and Karlsruhe, Germany, offers free downloads of its products at http://www.astaro.com.

Press Contact
Nicole Eckert
Astaro Corporation
+1 (978) 974-2645
neckert (at) astaro.com

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