Websense, solid protector and accurate reporter
March 24, 2017
Websense, solid protector and accurate reporter
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Websense Web Filter & Security
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).
- 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.
We had evaluated solutions from Cisco and Palo Alto in addition to Websense. The firewall integrated solutions, for the most part, lacked the some of the granularity we needed in our configurations. The firewall solutions also weren't as accurate at tying the traffic back to specific users. The Websense solution had the granularity and accurate reporting we needed and cost wise was inline with the additional licensing that the firewall integrated solutions required.
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.