SurfControl announces Project Blackbeard

A new offering from Scotts Valley, Calif.-based SurfControl will give IT managers power over unauthorized use of instant messaging (IM) and peer-to-peer (P2P) communications at the office.

Pam Small, spokesperson for SurfControl, said Tuesday that Project Blackbeard is a content tool geared towards companies with 100 users or more that will work along the same lines as Web and e-mail filtering, giving IT managers the ability to monitor applications being used by employees.

“What (we’re) trying to do is maximize the beauties of the Internet, and minimize the Internet abusers,” Small said.

In addition to managing unauthorized IM and P2P use, Project Blackbeard will have the ability to block or allow communications down to the IM client or P2P network level. It will also feature the ability to block or allow communications down to the individual or group-based IP address, customizable policy violation notifications based on each IM client and compatibility with the Windows 2000 platform.

Small says SurfControl’s customers are saying that unauthorized communications pose the same risks as unmanaged Web filtering and e-mail, and they have concerns ranging from security to network bandwidth.

“When you look at the size of some of these files, and when you have 500 employees in a typical company, you’re talking an excess of 200 e-mails an hour. That’s quite a strain on your network resources.”

SurfControl’s goal is to release Project Blackbeard before the end of their fiscal year in June.

For more details, SurfControl is on the Web at