Blue Coat WebPulse Service Now Exceeds 100 Million Requests Per Day for Real-Time Web Protection

Published April 3rd, 2008 - 07:03 GMT

Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI), the leader in WAN Application Delivery and Secure Web Gateway, today announced that its WebPulse™  service, the real-time cloud computing security service that extends its Blue Coat WebFilter™ product, now receives over 100 million requests for URL categorization and Website analysis per day. 

These requests come from Blue Coat WebFilter customers as well as OEM users of the product, mobile Internet users where the service provider utilizes Blue Coat products and users of K9 Web Protection, the company’s free Web service for families and individuals. The large number of URL requests and resulting analysis and categorization helps ensure that the Blue Coat WebFilter product contains the latest URLs that are relevant to users and identifies new sources of potential malicious threats.

 “It is a real-time world, where the Internet is constantly new and malicious threats are increasingly harder to detect,” said Nidal Taha, Middle East Regional Director of Blue Coat Systems. “WebPulse extends our ability to provide zero minute assessment of Web content and identification of potential dangers. Achieving this impressive milestone of 100 million requests per day puts us on the pulse of the latest user-relevant Web content.”

User-Driven Service for URL Categorization
Requests to the WebPulse service are for Web pages not yet in the Blue Coat WebFilter product or Blue Coat products, such as K9 Web Protection, that do not have a large, resident database of URLs. The Blue Coat WebFilter product utilizes an on-proxy database of over 15 million Website domain ratings representing billions of Web pages of real Internet usage, but, like any database, it cannot contain all URLs in the Internet or immediately have each newly created one.

By Blue Coat estimates, over half of Internet URLs are not categorized in any static database at any given point in time. Since tens of thousands of new URLs come online each day, it is impossible for a static database to stay up to date. To provide immediate assessment of URLs not contained in a database requires a dynamic analysis service, such as the Blue Coat WebPulse service.

Real-Time in the Cloud Analysis
The Blue Coat WebPulse analysis service provides a virtual “in-the-cloud” extension to Blue Coat products. It was first developed six years ago and is now hosted in multiple Blue Coat datacenters around the world. The time to process a request averages about 100 milliseconds.

A URL request to the WebPulse service first gets checked against one of three Blue Coat WebFilter Master Databases in the cloud that is constantly being updated in real-time. If the URL is not contained in this master database, the WebPulse service employs the company’s unique Dynamic Real-Time Rating technology (DRTR) to assess the Web page being requested. Based on patented technology that can categorize new or unfamiliar Websites ”on the fly” as they are being requested, the DRTR analysis enables the WebPulse service to return a categorization to a ProxySG appliance or other Blue Coat product.

In some cases, an “uncategorized” rating will be assigned. The ProxySG appliance or other Blue Coat product would then block or allow access in accordance with the assigned rating and the organization’s or user’s access policies. At the same time, the WebPulse service also passes the URL to the Dynamic Background Rating (DBR) processing queue for automated deep content and threat analysis and possibly inspection by human raters in Blue Coat Labs.

Identifying Malware, Spyware, Phishing and Real Web Usage
The analysis of all user-generated requests through the DBR process helps uncover other malicious threats, and this information also is added to all Blue Coat WebFilter databases. Assessment can be done in multiple languages. Additional malicious threat detection comes from ProxySG and ProxyAV appliances working together to perform a deep analysis of Web content to identify such threats as malware, spyware and mobile malicious code. ProxySG can analyze content within translation services, image searches and cached search engine content. The WebPulse analysis service also includes assessment for potential phishing sites.

Since Websites using dynamic content are more difficult to categorize accurately, Blue Coat WebFilter provides cross categorization for mashed-up content plus Web reputation ratings for suspicious sites. Rather than exclusively relying on Web spiders to crawl and populate Web trees for rating analysis, which has been made less effective by Web 2.0 technologies, the WebPulse service performs intelligent assessment of URLs requested by users, providing a considerable advantage for the Blue Coat WebFilter product.

Having the knowledge of these user-driven requests is increasingly critical for URL database relevance and accuracy. Further analysis by the DBR process adds to the Blue Coat WebFilter product information on real sites and potential dangers.

Proven Malware and Botnet Protection with Performance
Blue Coat ProxySG and ProxyAV appliances with Blue Coat WebFilter and the WebPulse service are used by leading companies in financial services, manufacturing, insurance, government and other industries around the world for protection from malware, botnets and other threats.

Together, these solutions provide a unique Secure Web Gateway that combines real-time threat analysis with proactive detection engines and a real-time rating service of URL requests. At the same time, rather than creating a traditional security bottleneck, ProxySG appliances accelerate business-acceptable Web content and applications and reduce bandwidth consumption.

About Blue Coat Systems
Blue Coat secures Web communications and accelerates business applications across the distributed enterprise. Blue Coat’s family of appliances and client-based solutions – deployed in branch offices, Internet gateways, end points, and data centers – provide intelligent points of policy-based control enabling IT organizations to optimize security and accelerate performance between users and applications. Blue Coat has installed more than 30,000 appliances worldwide and is ranked #1 by IDC in the Secure Content and Application Delivery market. Blue Coat is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and can be reached at (408) 220-2200 or


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