SurfinShield protects apps, files from hostile mobile code

SurfinShield protects apps, files from hostile mobile code

Finjan's SurfinShield blocks Web-launched

Product adds layer of security to PCs and notebooks, safeguarding them from unwanted downloads

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

The maker of a new desktop security product says it can prevent hostile mobile code such as Java and ActiveX applets from launching Microsoft Office suite applications and accessing files on desktop and notebook PCs.

SurfinShield Corporate 4.0 from Finjan Inc. of San Jose, Calif., works downstream from and complements Finjan's SurfinGate, a more comprehensive mobile code security product.'
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Small applications that can download and execute without the user's knowledge are several years newer than virus programs, said Bill Lyons, chief executive officer of Finjan. He said the ease with which Web sites can launch hostile mobile code makes it a potentially greater threat than viruses.

Firewalls block Java, JavaScript, cookies and other mobile code, but not when it is encrypted or zipped. The growth of interactive Web sites makes outright blocking less feasible as a security solution, he said.'' 'Every site is going [for mobile code] as fast as they can,' Lyons said. 'If you're going to be in the Internet space, you're going to have to have it. You don't have a choice.'

Lyons said some agencies, particularly in the Defense Department, are beginning to experiment with mobile code protection, but government users generally are behind the private sector.

'Everybody has their own security approach,' he said. 'There is no coordinated effort.'

SurfinShield can be launched and monitored from a central console and can enforce enterprise security policies. Lists can either block code from specified sites or allow code only from specified sites. The downloads go to a special zone on each desktop PC, and run-time monitoring takes place in a protected virtual browser'a Fortified Sandbox for Java code and an X-Box for ActiveX.

The autolaunch blocking feature monitors Web browsers and e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Eudora from Qualcomm Inc. of San Diego.

SurfinShield Corporate 4.0 starts at $125 per seat.

Contact Finjan at 408-324-0228.

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