Incapsula security puts 'virtual shield' around your Web site

Cloud-based security service helps SMBs thwart hackers, discourage Web content thieves and eradicate spam comment posts.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Your Web site is one of the most important reflections of your company's brand, so how would you feel if it was blacklisted by one of the major search engines? Yet, that is exactly what could happen if you don't pay enough attention to its security, and a hacker manages to slip malicious code into your otherwise innocent content files.

Enter a cloud-based security service from Incapsula, which was spun out of data security software provider Imperva in 2009. The Incapsula service works by creating a secure filter around your Web site, so that incoming traffic is analyzed before it gets in the front door.

Marc Gaffan, co-founder and vice president of marketing and Business Development, said Incapsula provides customers with a unique DNS routing record so when visitors attempt to reach your site, they actually are routed through Incapsula's servers first. There, the incoming traffic is inspected for the sorts of nefarious behavior that has become all too common. Intuitively, you would think that might slow things down, but Gaffan says that Incapsula can actually speed access because it caches your site's content on local nodes that are spread out all over the world. So, a speed boost might be an added benefit of using the service. "We put a virtual shield around your Web site," Gaffan said.

Incapsula is a Web application firewall technology that will shut out content that someone is trying to place on your Web site without permission, Gaffan said. It could also help with some other things that are "really, really annoying," he noted.

For example, it could help cut down on content scraping. As in, when someone pulls off the information on your Web site in order to use it for their own means. In the case of a journalist or writer like me, that's when someone steals this whole entire blog post and then puts it on another Web site and tries to pass it off as their own. In the real world of journalism and publishing, that's called plagiarism but people seem to forget that definition in the Web world.

Incapsula can also help clean up all those irrelevant spam messages that appear in the comment threads you might have enabled on your company's site. I'm clearing my throat here uncomfortably, because that is a BIG challenge here on this very content network and I'm wondering if Incapsula might be helpful.

There are three different service offerings for the Incapsula cloud security service. The first level, which is new, is free. Yup, free. It covers up to 25 gigabytes of content and up to 10,000 visitors per month. Once you reach that threshold, there are two different plans you could choose that start at $50 per month. The Business plan covers up SSL Web sites for up to 50 gigabytes per month; additional bandwidth costs $2 per gigabyte per month. if you want a plan that offers a guaranteed service level agreement for a high-bandwidth site, you will need to contact Incapsula directly.

Gaffan said Incapsula currently provides security service for several thousand Web sites on an ongoing basis.

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