SurfControl talks down threat from Microsoft

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SurfControl has claimed that it has nothing to fear from Microsoft Vista and that it is “business as usual” for the filtering company.

Asked what message SurfControl had for existing and prospective customers about Vista and the future of the security industry in light of the recent exchanges between Symantec, McAfee and the Redmond giant over its forthcoming operating system, Pat Sueltz, Surfcontrol CEO, said: "At SurfControl we do not comment on speculation, but consider Microsoft to be a significant member of our partner ecosystem."

Patrick Irwin, product marketing manager for EMEA for Surfcontrol, added: “Microsoft is a key partner with whom we have worked closely and with whom we will continue to work closely. I can understand the concerns of McAfee and Symantec on the home user front. For us it is business as usual.”
However, investment analyst George O'Connor of Shorecap said that the feud between Microsoft and security vendors has been simmering for some time. "The spat in the US between Microsoft and antivirus vendors over the security in the forthcoming Vista operating system was predated by Microsoft's 2003 acquisitions of Romanian antivirus vendor GeCAD software and antispyware vendor Giant Company Software," said O'Connor.

"It could be that customers could lose the ability to choose what security products they run and be forced to use only those offered by Microsoft – hence our concern about SurfControl … as filtering may well come into Microsoft's line of fire."

Sueltz' comments come as SurfControl has upgraded its web and email products and announced a branded on-demand security service based on its recent acquisition of service company Blackspider.

The WebDefense and MailControl on demand services are customisable services that offer round-the-clock web use and email filtering. It will compete directly against on demand services from rival Postini. The firm said it fills in the gaps in its offerings, saying that increasingly companies want a layered approach to security from the 'in the cloud' on demand service approach to the on network and software protection layers.

SurfControl also upgraded its E-mail Filter, Web Filter, Mobile Filter and RiskFilter products. E-mail Filter 5.5 gets new search and reporting functionality, giving increased visibility into messages. Web Filter 5.5 gets enhanced in-bound content filtering and it and Mobile Filter 5.5 include virus protection, as well as protocol filtering of peer-to-peer, instant message and streaming media applications. RiskFilter 5.2 new features include email encryption and authentication, and web threat protection.
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