Websense is to release an endpoint security product for content protection next year, along with an accompanying set of open APIs for third-party vendors to work with.

Devin Redmond, director of security products at Websense, said the product, tentatively called Content Protection Suite Endpoint, was available in beta for desktops based on Windows 2000 or XP and up. The endpoint security software, which works to ensure sensitive content isn't copied into applications or transmitted across the network, can take certain actions, such as blocking unauthorised content use or notifying users in real time that there may be a policy violation. Or, the software can monitor and inform security managers of suspected policy violations.

"This endpoint software can be used with Content Protection Suite, which is based on the network product we originally acquired from PortAuthority, or it can be purchased separately as a standalone product," Redmond said.

He said Websense had had open APIs based on an existing agreement with Safend, but the new set would work with the planned Websense Content Protection Suite Endpoint to allow third-party vendors to make use of its content monitoring and protection capabilities.

"For instance, an endpoint vendor for device control of a USB device or iPod, for example, could use the API to ask the question 'What is the user trying to copy?' and get an answer sent back as a 'disposition' based on whether it's allowed or should be blocked or just monitored," Redmond said. Lumension Security is expected to support the APIs in its endpoint security products, he added.

Content Protection Suite Endpoint, now in beta, has not yet been priced.