What is Content Security?
Rapid growth in the use of the Internet has
drastically changed how companies do business.
Content Security is the fastest growing sector of
Internet Security. According to IDC, a
Massachusetts-based market research firm, content
security revenues are expected to grow from $66
million in 1999 to almost $1 billion in 2004.
TThe need for content security is increasing as
virtually every company today is connected to the
Internet. These positive technological
developments opened new avenues to potential
dangers: lurking viruses, pornography, oversized
files or banned types, spam and malicious mobile
code. These new dangers can bring down networks,
spur harassment lawsuits and downgrade
productivity of both systems and people.
Until recently, Internet security was limited
to more conventional security methods, such as
firewalls. Firewalls are limited in that they
verify Internet access only on the basis of IP
addresses (e.g. 212.xxx.xxx.xxx).
Content is not verified in conventional
Internet security methods.
Hackers hide their damaging content in emails
in the form of viruses, worms and malicious mobile
code. For example, the infamous “I Love You" virus
caused enormous problems worldwide. Hackers gain
access via the Trojan horse technique to mission
critical company data. The damage a virus can cost
a company can be devastating.It is estimated that
last year alone viruses caused approximately US$
11 billion worldwide in damage due to downtime,
loss of employee productivity and data loss. This
is why companies must tighten their security
processes and implement content based security.
As Internet and email programs become more user
friendly, an increasing number of users download
damaging content. For example, malicious mobile
code is more frequently downloaded to user’s PCs
from more remote Internet pages, or viruses are
spread through the company’s network. Viruses gain
access to the address book and send out a copy of
themselves to every recipient in the address book.
To reduce the risk of viruses entering into the
internal network, administrators use firewalls to
filter out particular file types, such as *.vbs,
Java applets or ActiveX controls.
A conventional firewall cannot distinguish
between wanted and unwanted content.
A conventional firewall filters all file types
with a particular extension. This traditional type
of security also filters mission critical data.
For example, identical file extensions used by
viruses are also used for Internet banking,
animated and interactive web presentations and
Internet shopping. This type of limitation in
Internet security leads to a reduction in a
company’s direct Internet business needs.
Conventional firewalls and virus scanners alone
provide no protection as they cannot automatically
identify potentially damaging content. As a
result, many viruses are allowed to pass though
the firewall and enter the company’s network.
There is a crucial need for a security solution
that monitors the content of the entire internal
and external network traffic. A content security
solution requires the verification during real
time of the entire content of certain websites,
emails and transmissions, including all