Zscaler adds email to security cloud

Zscaler attracted a lot of attention when it launched its cloud-based security solution back in 2008, effectively offering a “clean” web feed to anyone prepared to sign up to its service. And now it’s been made even better, with extensions to inspect and filter email as well as web traffic.

Zscaler attracted a lot of attention when it launched its cloud-based security solution back in 2008, effectively offering a “clean” web feed to anyone prepared to sign up to its service. And now it’s been made even better, with extensions to inspect and filter email as well as web traffic.

The concept behind Zscaler is simple. Instead of deploying security software locally, customers merely point their user browsers and other applications at Zscaler proxies in the cloud. Hosted in a network of over 40 data centres worldwide these inspect all traffic passing in and out of the customer network, applying policies to both block malware and enforce Web access rules.

Because it’s all done in the cloud, remote and mobile users can be protected as easily as those on the company LAN. Likewise, the service can be managed from anywhere, via a Web-based console which, as well as tools to define and apply security policies, lets administrators see exactly what’s been going on, almost in real time, with reporting tools that can drill right down to the individual transaction level.

As with the web, the new email security services inspect traffic out in the cloud to block viruses, spyware and other email-borne threats before they get to customer servers. Spam and phishing attacks can now also be dealt with in this way, with facilities also to protect against data loss - for example, by stopping credit card numbers and other financial information being leaked.

Able to handle any SMTP mail traffic the new email security services are fully integrated into the console used to manage web security, with the two sharing common detection technologies and working together, where required, to deal with threats.

Zscaler has won a lot of business since it was first introduced, but on-premise solutions remain the preferred option for many customers, with plenty of products able to provide combined email and web protection. Few, however, are as integrated as the new Zscaler offering or as easy to implement and manage. Moreover, Zscaler is licensed on a simple “pay as you go” basis, prices for the integrated web and email service ranging from $1-5 per user per month, depending on the number involved and options selected.

Alan Stevens

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