GFI WebMonitor 3 offers unobtrusive real-time monitoring of users' web activity, Internet access control, and protection

August 31, 2005 - 12:00

GFI WebMonitor 3 offers unobtrusive real-time monitoring of users' web activity, Internet access control, and protection


London, UK – GFI has released a new version of GFI WebMonitor, its access control plug-in for Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server that allows administrators to monitor the sites users are browsing and what files they are downloading – in real time. GFI WebMonitor 3, formerly only available as a lightweight freeware tool, will now be offered as a commercial version which can scan all downloads for viruses, perform proactive content filtering – such as preventing access to adult sites – and block files based on type, among other new features. GFI WebMonitor also supports add-ons which enable it to identify and block malware including Trojans, adware and spyware.

Unobtrusive Internet access control, in real time

GFI WebMonitor installs on ISA Server 2000 and ISA Server 2004 as a web filter and is transparent to the user, making it the perfect solution to unobtrusively exercise a degree of control over users’ browsing habits and ensure legal compliance – in a manner that will not alienate one’s network users. It enables administrators to check and instantaneously stop any traffic that could compromise the company’s network security, open it to legal liability, or jam the corporate bandwidth.

“Many companies exercise some control over users’ web browsing habits – not only to ensure productive use of the Internet but also to safeguard users from objectionable sites and to ensure that downloads are virus-free,” said Andre Muscat, GFI Product Manager. “The traditional full-blown web proxy filters are cumbersome to install/administer and expensive to buy, while log file analyzers are awkward to use and do not allow for real-time monitoring and blocking. A tool like GFI WebMonitor provides instantaneous Internet access control in an easy-to-use and highly affordable manner.”

“We’ve heard from our customers that they value the variety of security solutions our ISA Server partners build and provide,” said Steve Brown, director of product management, Security Business and Technology Unit at Microsoft Corp. “Industry partners like GFI provide innovative solutions that help customers improve network security efficiently and effectively.”

Proactive content filtering, including the prevention of access to objectionable sites
GFI WebMonitor 3 includes a new real-time online adult content filter, Yahoo! SafeSearch – Strict Mode, which checks sites for the presence of objectionable material such as pornographic images, offensive words and links to adult-oriented sites. If a site is found to be offensive, ISA Server blocks access to it. Through the joint capabilities of Yahoo! SafeSearch and GFI WebMonitor, one's site filter list is automatically updated whenever a user tries to access an adult site – even if this site is not yet in the existing filter list. The user's access to this new site is blocked all the same. As this list management is done automatically, administrator time is thereby freed up. More information on Yahoo! SafeSearch can be found at http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/indexing-07.html.

Checks all downloads for viruses
GFI WebMonitor is bundled with BitDefender antivirus software. However, it is also available in multiple virus engine format via its support for the optional Kaspersky antivirus engine. All HTTP (web) and FTP (file transfer through HTTP proxy) traffic entering and exiting ISA Server are scanned for viruses and infected files are blocked. The Kaspersky engine also catches other forms of malware such as Trojans, adware and spyware. Antivirus updates are carried out automatically as definition files become available.

Enables administrators to easily block a website via the ISA Server blocking rules’ URL sets
When a user browses a website that an administrator wishes to block, this can be done by adding this site through GFI WebMonitor to an ISA Server 2004 URL set used by the access blocking rule. All the rule properties of a standard ISA Server 2004 rule can be applied (including the ability to exclude certain users, time restrictions etc).

Blocks files by verifying their real filetypes
GFI WebMonitor 3 analyzes filetype signatures to define the “real” filetypes of the objects being downloaded, giving the administrator the possibility to block undesired real filetypes and to recognize other types as dangerous -  even for traffic disguised as harmless content (by definition in the HTTP header).

Other GFI WebMonitor features
GFI WebMonitor includes a number of other features, such as:

  • The provision of a clear and concise view of Internet activity
  • Web-based interface that enables viewing from anywhere in the network
  • Statistics on the number of bytes that are transferred (both received and uploaded) per user or per site
  • Live daily report per user, per IP and per website
  • Live statistics of real filetypes downloaded per website
  • Ability to cancel present connections which hog bandwidth.

More information about GFI WebMonitor and a trial version are available at: http://www.gfi.com/webmon/.

Pricing and availability
GFI WebMonitor costs a fraction of the price of other Internet access control, monitoring and antivirus products: For networks of up to 25 users, the cost is $395, for instance, while for networks of up to 100 users, the cost is $695. Because the product runs on ISA Server, no dedicated machine or network re-configuration is required. It is available direct from GFI or via a global network of authorized resellers.

About GFI
GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. With award-winning technology, an aggressive pricing strategy and a strong focus on small-to-medium sized businesses, GFI is able to satisfy the need for business continuity and productivity encountered by organizations on a global scale. GFI has offices in the US, Malta, UK, Hong Kong and Australia which support more than 200,000 installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with over 10,000 partners worldwide. GFI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. More information about GFI can be found at http://www.gfi.com.