Blue Coat Systems, the technology leader in Web security  and WAN optimization  solutions, today announced PacketShaper version 9, a new software operating system release for Blue Coat PacketShaper  appliances that introduces the industry’s first network application and content-level visibility and control for IPv6 shadow networks which have, up until now, run undetected on existing corporate IPv4 networks. In addition, the new software enables scalable performance of up to 8 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to meet increased network demands with more video and other rich media, large software downloads and other network application traffic.
Visibility and Control over IPv6 Shadow Networks:
With a growing number of endpoints and WAN services enabled for IPv6, traffic has begun to emerge onto IPv4 enterprise networks far in advance of transition plans, creating new entry points for potential security threats and introducing compliance issues. Many companies already have IPv6 access from their service providers. Content is now widely available over IPv6 from providers such as Netflix, YouTube and via emerging Peer-2-Peer (P2P) applications. At the same time, many desktop and mobile endpoints, including tablets and mobile phones, are fully IPv6 ready. These endpoints may be publically addressable and operate outside of traditional security configurations. Employees sometimes use these shadow networks to freely conduct file sharing, download video, access pornography and get around other network activity usually restricted by company policies.
PacketShaper version 9 adds IPv6 application and content visibility to the most powerful real time classification engine available today, with granular understanding of 700+ applications and tens of millions of Web sites categorized into 84 content categories. PacketShaper appliances are an increasingly critical tool for businesses and organizations to use in understanding the application traffic on Internet gateways and WAN links, managing the performance of applications across those networks and in providing awareness of security threats and compliance issues.
“PacketShaper version 9 uniquely provides visibility of IPv6 traffic secretly traversing corporate IPv4 networks,” said Qing Li, Blue Coat chief scientist and noted IPv6 author and expert. “PacketShaper gives businesses the ability to regain control of their networks to monitor compliance with IPv6 evolutions, audit against security and infrastructure migration plans, and align with business priorities.”
Growing Risk and Compliance Issues with IPv6 Shadow Networks:
Without visibility and control for IPv6 content and applications, companies face security and compliance risks from unauthorized traffic, as well new and potentially highly effective security threats. Cybercriminals are beginning to use IPv6 shadow networks as a “back door” conduit for penetrating corporate networks and providing communication links to already embedded malware and compromised computers that have been subjugated into botnets.
PacketShaper version 9 software provides businesses and organizations with the ability to see inbound and outbound IPv6 traffic on a granular basis and apply controls specific to the application or content. PacketShaper appliances can identify IPv6 security risks, thus enabling businesses and organizations to take necessary precautions in mitigating potential threats at the early stages.
High Performance and Scalability:
The performance from the new release provides up to double the throughput of the existing PacketShaper appliances, extending scalability to meet new network demands driven by fast growing network traffic. Enterprise data center to data center deployments can now achieve performance of up to 8 Gbps, and enterprise WAN core and Internet gateway deployments can achieve 3.5 to 5 Gbps aggregate throughput. The increased scalability enables companies to manage more advanced quality of service and network control policies per application per branch, enhancing the ability to use a centralized PacketShaper appliance to virtually manage branch offices.
PacketShaper 9 software also provides very fast user interface response time, with a 10x overall increase in responsiveness, making it now highly interactive. The new interface better integrates workflows and works across all PacketShaper platforms.
PacketShaper 9 software is now in general availability. It is available as a free upgrade to customers with a current service agreement. High performance and scalability advancements make use of PacketShaper 10000 and 12000 appliance platforms.