Web Security Feature from Google Aims to Monitor Web Traffic and Protect Networks

Google Web Security will not be included with Google Apps. But the new feature will allow companies to monitor web traffic without requiring a corporate VPN.

Further utilizing its Postini acquisition last year, Google announced today that the company will offer a web security product. Google Web Security promises to allow companies to monitor users' internet usage and prevent malware from entering the corporate network without having users log on to a VPN.

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Google Web Security will provide companies with malware protection, URL filtering, and IT-friendly features such as reporting and policy enforcement, says the company. The service will cost $36 per user per year. It will not be an automatically included feature when companies buy Google Apps, Google's Web-based productivity suite.

In basic terms, Google Web Security will install a driver on a user's computers. When he logs on to a site or uses the Internet, information is sent to the service (which is powered by Postini and uses technology from ScanSafe) and scans sites for mal-ware. The service parcels out harmful malware before it has a chance to reach the end-users computer.

"We screen out the bad stuff and hand off the good stuff," says Tim Johnson, a product marketing manager at Google. "It also doesn't introduce any latency."

Johnson says the service will be especially important for remote workers, because they will not have to actively log into a VPN to have the service work properly. To get the service for remote workers, however, costs an additional $12 per user per year.

Google has also leveraged its Postini acquisition to add security for enterprise e-mail back in February. Johnson says Google Web Security will integrate with the console Postini customers have used to monitor e-mail security.

Google made two other partnerships over the past year in its effort to prove its value as a vendor with large enterprises. First, back in September, Capgemini, the consulting firm, announced it would provide support for customers using Google Apps. In April, Salesforce.com, the large SaaS CRM vendor, said it would support Google Apps for free to any of its customers who wanted it.

The partnerships might be aimed at quelling the worries of enterprise CIOs who have so far shown a reluctanace to embrace Google Apps. In this year's CIO consumer technology survey, nearly 50 percent of respondents said they would not consider buying Gmail, Google's e-mail system, for their organizations while 33 percent they were unsure.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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