Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Palo Alto Networks Firewall Blocks Facebook Social Plug-ins

Palo Alto Networks has upgraded its firewall with new functionality that enables enterprises to control Facebook Social Plug-ins.

The company said Facebook users in enterprises are susceptible to having their confidential data shared with third parties because of changes at Facebook that can cause behavioral data from its users to be made available to others unless a user explicitly opts out. The new default Facebook privacy settings are designed to share private and corporate information with advertisers and other third parties. In enterprises, this policy has major implications, as there is no central way for IT security teams to protect their users from the unknown and - in almost all cases - unwanted privacy impact, which involves the sharing of behavioral and website information with Facebook and its advertising customers.

Palo Alto Networks' new App-ID allows IT security teams to protect their Facebook users against the undesired data sharing while transparently preserving Facebook functionality and not breaking the functionality of other websites that rely on the Facebook Social Plug-ins. Palo Alto Networks combines three identification technologies to provide visibility and control over Facebook-related functionality, users and content:

  • App-ID identifies exactly which Facebook functionality is running on the network, as well as the associated risks, so administrators can deploy comprehensive application usage control policies for inbound and outbound traffic.

  • User-ID integrates with Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP directories to link Facebook use to users and groups - not just IP addresses - for visibility, policy creation, logging and reporting.

  • Content-ID combines a real-time threat prevention engine with a comprehensive URL database to detect and block a wide range of threats, limit unauthorized transfer of files and data, enabling customers to scan permitted Facebook traffic for threats and confidential data.