Avast Business launches enterprise-class secure web gateway for SMBs

Avast adds a new capability to its CloudCare platform that provides turnkey and policy-based protection against malicious websites, downloads, and locations.

Gill Langston, Senior Product Manager, SMB, Avast Software

Today at the RSA Conference, cybersecurity vendor Avast is launching its Avast Business Secure Web Gateway, a cloud-based offering that Avast is describing as the first enterprise-class secure web gateway specifically designed for the needs of SMBs. It is available as a new component of the Avast Business CloudClare platform.

Avast has historically been primarily focused on the anti-virus market, but the profusion of threats today mean that the business market has to go beyond that, said Gill Langston, Senior Product Manager, SMB, at Avast Software.

“As the amount of threats grow, customers realize that just securing endpoints with anti-virus is a great start, but is not enough, so they get some kind of web protection or web filtering,” Langston said. “The problem is that it typically doesn’t fit the model for most SMBs. They have to manage it, and it doesn’t scale as the business grows. Many also turn off things like SSL scanning because it causes bottlenecks. This new offering allows us to offer customers an enterprise class gateway to provide this additional level of protection as a fully cloud-delivered and managed service.”

Avast’s CloudCare platform provides multiple layers of security including endpoint and network security, managed from a single console.

“CloudCare is our platform that we offer to secure and manage SMBs,” Langston indicated. “We rolled this into CloudCare to provide an additional level of security, and so the customer can set it up and move on without requiring additional management time.”

This specific type of content filtering is a new addition.

“In the past we had basic content filtering, which was more focused around ensuring productivity,” Langston said. “This content filtering is security focused, with threat feeds from DNS that provide intelligence of known malicious domains. It provides the confidence that users are protected from malicious web traffic, by preventing access to known bad websites, and providing a secure way to deal with others whose reputations are not yet known. Because it’s a cloud service, there is no physical or virtual appliance to manage, and it just takes a few minutes to get up and running.”

Avast focuses on the 10-1000 user market, and is associated with small business technology, but Langston said that this Secure Web Gateway is enterprise grade.

“It is enterprise class because it is scalable to any amount of users, as well as the SSL component which is handled by DNS,” Langston stated.

Very small businesses won’t likely be interested in the gateway, but Langston said that the sweet spot starts fairly low in the market.

“We are seeing the addressable market for this trending downward from where is used to be,” he noted. “Organizations with as few as 100 users should be interested in this.”

Avast expects partner interest in this to be broad, starting with MSSPs.

“The first adopter partners for this will always be the ones who position themselves as offering managed security services, but we have seen tremendous interest from a lot of partners,” Langston said. “They know that just providing anti-virus isn’t enough any more.”

Regular MSPs are likely to adopt it as well, but Langston said that may take a little more time.

“They have less infections they have to respond to,” he said.

Avast plans to add more components into CloudCare going forward.

“This is our first step into additional layers,” Langston said. “There will be more to come. Our goal is to be able to provide a platform that has the endpoint and network working together with all the core layers you want to protect.”

Avast is demonstrating the new gateway at RSA at Booth #5771 in the North Hall at Moscone Center.