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Austin-based Websense offers Web Filter & Security, a web content filtering product.Great Filter, Easy ReportingWe use Websense Web Filter & Security to prevent users from accessing certain types of websites, set time quotas for certain types of sites such as shopping, prevent certain types of protocols and in general as a logging system to track how users are spending their time on the internet. It has been an extremely valuable IT & HR tool for our company.,It tracks user activity, which means our HR department has a tool to report on certain users' activities when their productivity vs. internet surfing habits are in question. The reports are pretty simple to create and view and the ability to export to Excel has been useful. The ability to automatically generate and email these reports on a schedule has been useful at times too. The ability to set quotas, such as users are allowed to spend 30minutes per day on Facebook or 30minutes a day on shopping sites, which displays the quota for the user when they enter such a site, has been a valuable reminder of our company policies for such activity. The ability to prevent certain types of protocols for certain groups of users, such as group xyz is not allowed on FTP sites, or only https, has allowed to consider and set security parameters for different groups of users. The ability to easily override any group policy setting for a certain individual if an immediate need for something outside the box arises has been useful. If a certain user is temporarily filling in for another person on vacation and needs additional internet access with less restrictions, we just call out that user specifically in the software and apply a different policy, then easily remove that the following week.,While the reports are easy to generate, analyzing the data can be challenging. For example, it records every hit on a webpage, so for something like Facebook, every time the page refreshes itself or changes an ad etc. it records it. So, if a user goes to Facebook and actually clicks on two things to read, it could end up showing the had forty clicks, which makes it challenging to HR to determine where the line of "extreme usage" actually is based on these skewed reports. We have had three times in 8 years where the software had a table that got corrupted that synchs data from AD, so the usernames were not available for reporting. We had to run reports for a while based on IP address, which could change frequently since we're DHCP like most companies, so the data in the reports were essentially useless during this period. Support helped us solve the issue, but each time it took about a week. Support has managed to solve every problem, issue or questions we've had, but it has been slower than most of our vendors. Where we typically get same day support from almost everyone, most Websense support tickets have been 1) open a ticket wait for a call back, 2) get an email requesting more data.. wait, 3) get an email requesting a time to work with us.. wait, 4) get a confirmation than actually get on a shared session to work, 5) be told they had logs to review first or needed to do research and would get back to us in a day or two... 6) more emails... 7) finally an email resolution or screen share to walk us through the resolution or setting change. Typically this was a 3 to 5 day turn around time. Since it's not a critical system for us, though extremely useful, it's not been a bid deal here.,9,We have been able to curb user habits through HR and through the built in quotas for certain website categories, which has led to less user surfing time. We have seen certain types of potentially malicious websites blocks where users have clicked on something unaware and been prevented from accessing based on certain types of protocol blocks IT put in place. We have also been able to monitor bandwidth usage per user and when we had spikes on our network saturation reports from our ISP, we could tell who was causing the usage issue and address it with the individual, which allowed to determine if we needed to scale up with additional bandwidth or if we just had a user(s) hogging all the bandwidth for streaming media and causing a false sense of usage for the company as a whole. This has saved us money by allowing us to maintain the right size pipes with our ISP.,,Symantec Endpoint Protection, iManage Work, GoToMeeting,130,1,Company policy and compliance HR user reviews Protocol/Category website prevention,We have a policy that says users can surf the internet during their lunch break. So we set a quota policy that allows a user to go to shopping sites, but it tells them when they do they have a 30 minute usage for the day. It reminds them of the policy and then after the 30 minutes prevents them from going to other shopping sites that day, enforcing the policy if they attempt to violate it.,9Websense, solid protector and accurate reporterWe are using Websense (now Forcepoint) to both block and report on traffic for both our internal networks and our public network. The granular reporting is used both as a resource for HR when there are potential issues and also for tracking abusers of the public network by our security team. The filtering is used to keep inappropriate/NSFW content from being viewed and also helps us as a layer of our network security. We block all security and proxy related traffic and, whenever we receive a phishing or spam email with a link we add that url to our block list to help prevent accessing of corrupted or malicious domains.,The Websense (Forcepoint) reporting is verify accurate and granular. Many solutions don't integrate as closely with Active Directory and there can be windows were traffic can be slightly inaccurate. We are confident in Websense to give us accurate reports when we need them. We had a few hiccups in getting our appliances configured wccp with our Cisco firewalls. I engaged support and they were extremely helpful in getting us the updated Cisco configuration we needed to get the appliances communicating. The management and reporting console are smooth and intuitive. I can easily follow traffic and patterns to locate infected computers on the network that need to be remedied and also help to triangulate network abusers with our wifi components to remove problem users from our environment.,Configuration and setup can be a complex. This by itself isn't bad, but their knowledge base site is difficult to search and has multiple versions of instructions for all the different versions of the software available. If you could find the solution and jump to the different software versions from there, it wouldn't be too bad, but it can be a bit of work to find what you want. We use their hybrid service for some mobile workstations. The configuration isn't terribly difficult, but it is completely controlled by our management console and uploaded/synced to the cloud. I don't, at this point, have direct access to see the 'cloud' side of things. It isn't a huge problem, but when i'm troubleshooting to get the clients set up it would have been easier to see if the account i was using was in the system. When I have to review a user's traffic and they have a large amount of traffic for the day, the web review tool can be slow and time out. You can remove some categories from being displayed (I usually remove the information technology and some infrastructure categories) after the initial traffic loads, but it would be nice to be able to configure that before the traffic logs load (which would reduce the load time and chance for a timeout).,7,The websense filtering has helped us to reduce and eliminate productivity losses from some gaming and streaming services. We have been able to lower our liability from illegal streaming services and also adult content viewing (and also reduced the internet uses related to those services). The filtering service has helped us to prevent virus spread on the network and also helped as a layer to pinpoint affected endpoints, that had gone unnoticed by our antivirus solution. By alerting to those early infections, we can quarantine the device before the infection spreads or affects other endpoints. The solution has given the HR department reporting they needed when employees were under review without having to pull any local logs or have any local solutions installed. The hybrid client has worked well in a few remote offices, meaning we didn't need a separate proxy service to filter and protect that traffic.,,Cisco ASA, Barracuda Load Balancer, SolarWinds Log & Event Manager, ContentProtectWebSense ReviewWebsense Web Filter is being used scross whole organization. It protects from internet dangers and helps to monitor users.,Great at managing from a micro level (one staff person) to a macro level (the whole organization) GUI interface is easy to use Takes little time to manage and maintain. Once running it keeps going!,It needs the ability to measure bandwidth. I want to know how much a user is taking up. The fact that he/she has 17,000 hits doesn't help. Clients, Policies, Filters can be confusing. Maybe it's too complicated and can be simplified?,9,I wouldn't try to justify the purchase on an ROI basis. It's a necessary product that you must have. It's the best in the business. Why not go with the best?,,Finding users in Active Directory Setting up Group Filters and Policies,Running Reports can be cumbersome,8
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Forcepoint URL Filtering
6 Ratings
Score 7.9 out of 101
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Forcepoint URL Filtering Reviews

Forcepoint URL Filtering
6 Ratings
Score 7.9 out of 101
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Debbie Johnson profile photo
March 30, 2017

Forcepoint URL Filtering Review: "Great Filter, Easy Reporting"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Websense Web Filter & Security to prevent users from accessing certain types of websites, set time quotas for certain types of sites such as shopping, prevent certain types of protocols and in general as a logging system to track how users are spending their time on the internet. It has been an extremely valuable IT & HR tool for our company.
  • It tracks user activity, which means our HR department has a tool to report on certain users' activities when their productivity vs. internet surfing habits are in question. The reports are pretty simple to create and view and the ability to export to Excel has been useful. The ability to automatically generate and email these reports on a schedule has been useful at times too.
  • The ability to set quotas, such as users are allowed to spend 30minutes per day on Facebook or 30minutes a day on shopping sites, which displays the quota for the user when they enter such a site, has been a valuable reminder of our company policies for such activity.
  • The ability to prevent certain types of protocols for certain groups of users, such as group xyz is not allowed on FTP sites, or only https, has allowed to consider and set security parameters for different groups of users.
  • The ability to easily override any group policy setting for a certain individual if an immediate need for something outside the box arises has been useful. If a certain user is temporarily filling in for another person on vacation and needs additional internet access with less restrictions, we just call out that user specifically in the software and apply a different policy, then easily remove that the following week.
  • While the reports are easy to generate, analyzing the data can be challenging. For example, it records every hit on a webpage, so for something like Facebook, every time the page refreshes itself or changes an ad etc. it records it. So, if a user goes to Facebook and actually clicks on two things to read, it could end up showing the had forty clicks, which makes it challenging to HR to determine where the line of "extreme usage" actually is based on these skewed reports.
  • We have had three times in 8 years where the software had a table that got corrupted that synchs data from AD, so the usernames were not available for reporting. We had to run reports for a while based on IP address, which could change frequently since we're DHCP like most companies, so the data in the reports were essentially useless during this period. Support helped us solve the issue, but each time it took about a week.
  • Support has managed to solve every problem, issue or questions we've had, but it has been slower than most of our vendors. Where we typically get same day support from almost everyone, most Websense support tickets have been 1) open a ticket wait for a call back, 2) get an email requesting more data.. wait, 3) get an email requesting a time to work with us.. wait, 4) get a confirmation than actually get on a shared session to work, 5) be told they had logs to review first or needed to do research and would get back to us in a day or two... 6) more emails... 7) finally an email resolution or screen share to walk us through the resolution or setting change. Typically this was a 3 to 5 day turn around time. Since it's not a critical system for us, though extremely useful, it's not been a bid deal here.
This software is extremely well suited to environments that want to prevent certain categories of website access for their users or do reporting on internet usage. An HR person will need technical assistance in making sense of most of the reports and analyzing what the data in the reports actually means, so for companies without an IT person in house that can explain such things, I think this software would be challenging for HR reporting purposes use only.
Read Debbie Johnson's full review
No photo available
March 24, 2017

Forcepoint URL Filtering: "Websense, solid protector and accurate reporter"

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using Websense (now Forcepoint) to both block and report on traffic for both our internal networks and our public network. The granular reporting is used both as a resource for HR when there are potential issues and also for tracking abusers of the public network by our security team. The filtering is used to keep inappropriate/NSFW content from being viewed and also helps us as a layer of our network security. We block all security and proxy related traffic and, whenever we receive a phishing or spam email with a link we add that url to our block list to help prevent accessing of corrupted or malicious domains.
  • The Websense (Forcepoint) reporting is verify accurate and granular. Many solutions don't integrate as closely with Active Directory and there can be windows were traffic can be slightly inaccurate. We are confident in Websense to give us accurate reports when we need them.
  • We had a few hiccups in getting our appliances configured wccp with our Cisco firewalls. I engaged support and they were extremely helpful in getting us the updated Cisco configuration we needed to get the appliances communicating.
  • The management and reporting console are smooth and intuitive. I can easily follow traffic and patterns to locate infected computers on the network that need to be remedied and also help to triangulate network abusers with our wifi components to remove problem users from our environment.
  • Configuration and setup can be a complex. This by itself isn't bad, but their knowledge base site is difficult to search and has multiple versions of instructions for all the different versions of the software available. If you could find the solution and jump to the different software versions from there, it wouldn't be too bad, but it can be a bit of work to find what you want.
  • We use their hybrid service for some mobile workstations. The configuration isn't terribly difficult, but it is completely controlled by our management console and uploaded/synced to the cloud. I don't, at this point, have direct access to see the 'cloud' side of things. It isn't a huge problem, but when i'm troubleshooting to get the clients set up it would have been easier to see if the account i was using was in the system.
  • When I have to review a user's traffic and they have a large amount of traffic for the day, the web review tool can be slow and time out. You can remove some categories from being displayed (I usually remove the information technology and some infrastructure categories) after the initial traffic loads, but it would be nice to be able to configure that before the traffic logs load (which would reduce the load time and chance for a timeout).
If you need granular user and computer reporting, Websense is very reliable. It will provide strong protection and filtering once set up. If you aren't savvy with the technology involved, engage support early in your configuration, as it is complicated. The hybrid mobile client works well for your laptop users that you need protected and reporting out in the real world, but again is complicated to initially set up. Once you get it set up, the websense product is very solid. If you don't need the reporting and don't need it to be accurate to the person/computer, then it is more inline with the web filtering offered integrated by the various firewall providers out there and you can decide whether you want to have a separate appliance for web filtering or have it as part of the all in one firewall solution.
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Kevin Rinn profile photo
September 02, 2015

Forcepoint URL Filtering: "WebSense Review"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Websense Web Filter is being used scross whole organization. It protects from internet dangers and helps to monitor users.
  • Great at managing from a micro level (one staff person) to a macro level (the whole organization)
  • GUI interface is easy to use
  • Takes little time to manage and maintain. Once running it keeps going!
  • It needs the ability to measure bandwidth. I want to know how much a user is taking up. The fact that he/she has 17,000 hits doesn't help.
  • Clients, Policies, Filters can be confusing. Maybe it's too complicated and can be simplified?
Websense Web Filter can do everything you would wish. Make sure the cost is acceptable. It's expensive but worth it.
Read Kevin Rinn's full review

About Forcepoint URL Filtering

Austin-based Websense offers Web Filter & Security, a web content filtering product.
Categories:  Web Content Filtering

Forcepoint URL Filtering Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No