By monitoring and blocking users access to spyware-laden Web sites and downloads, anti-spyware gateway appliances give IT administrators an effective way to deter malware before it gets a chance to infect corporate workstations. However, these devices cannot be relied on as the sole line of spyware defense, as they provide no cleaning services or oversight for computers that move outside the corporate network.
eWEEK Labs recently tested three anti-spyware gateway appliances: FaceTime Communications Real-Time Guardian 500, McAfees Secure Web Gateway 3300 and Mi5s Enterprise Spygate 005.
In general, all the products were effective in blocking most threats, using combinations of embedded URL blacklists and deep-inspection technology to match threat signatures. McAfees SWG 3300 appliance had the most comprehensive threat detection capabilities, albeit at a substantially higher cost than the other products we tested. The FaceTime and Mi5 appliances are much more affordable and both show much potential, but each currently has significant drawbacks.