Appliance added to content-management suite

Endpoint-security software, management software round out Workshare’s suite

Workshare Monday announced an updated version of its content-protection suite, adding a network-monitoring appliance to augment the company's standalone desktop-monitoring software.

The network-based Protect Network appliance, which monitors outbound network Web, instant messaging, FTP and mail channels, sits at either the network egress point or in front of critical data repositories. It is designed to prevent unauthorized transmission of content.

It works in conjunction with other pieces of the company's Content Protection Group suite, including endpoint-security software, Workshare Protect 6, which monitors for unauthorized content use on the desktop. The Workshare Management System is a centralized policy and management server used to establish content-security policy through Workshare's pattern-matching technology.

"It analyzes what the content is, including whether encryption should be applied and prompts the user or stops some kind of transactions," says Marty Jost, senior director of product marketing. "Workshare will also detect hidden fields in spreadsheets, which users may include by mistake."

Workshare makes use of a fingerprinting technology to protect unstructured data through automatic or manual blacklisting and whitelisting, and can automatically crawl Microsoft file shares. When Workshare detects potential policy violations, it can notify the manager or block traffic.

The latest version of the product provides enterprise-wide distribution and management of the software, making it easier to deploy than the previous version, which was manually installed. Workshare has 130 employees and was founded in 1998 by Barrie Hadfield, CTO, with US$20 million in venture capital funding from Steelpoint Capital Partners, Intel Capital and Quester.

London-based Standard Chartered Bank, which has global operations that extend into Asia, Africa and elsewhere, has tested the Workshare content-protection system and is poised to deploy it to approximately 60,0000 desktops worldwide.

"As a bank, we have a lot of sensitive information and account data as well as proprietary data," says John Meakin, group head of information security at Standard Chartered Bank. "We have to put in place a mechanism that tracks what happens across the network."

Sometimes it's necessary for bank representatives in a mobile environment to share client data under certain circumstances, Meakin says, and Workshare would be useful in applying restrictions, such as checking to make sure data is encrypted before it's transmitted. "Workshare will enable us to see where the information is going and intervene," he says.

Workshare Protect 6 costs US$30 per seat, and the network-monitoring appliance starts at US$5,000.

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