Watchguard has announced the launch of a cloud-based web security service to couple with its XTM and XCS security appliances.

Reputation Enabled Defense (RED) protects against web-based threats to protect users against next-generation threats and delivers highly secure web browsing via a cloud-based reputation lookup that scores URLs as good, bad or unknown.

The company said that the lookup leverages a dynamic global database that aggregates data from multiple feeds, including industry-leading anti-virus engines. URLs with bad reputations are immediately blocked, whereas URLs with good reputations can be accelerated through the network firewall.

With RED, browsing is accelerated by eliminating the need to scan all web traffic for threats. Up to 50 per cent of URL scanning can be avoided without compromising security, resulting in greater throughput at the gateway and more efficient use of appliance resources.

Mark Romano, director of field and channel marketing at WatchGuard, told SC Magazine that RED allows the creation of an over-arching response, and blocks 98-99 per cent of spam coming through the cloud. He said: “The difference with RED is that it is web-based, and similar to email. It is good to keep the activity up and keep people working.”