Product Highlights

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Web 2.0 technologies have created a new breed of threats for the enterprise. Can solution providers protect the enterprise with the latest Websense service and still sleep at night?

Websense Hosted Security Services is designed to replace traditional hardware-based security appliances with a service that protects an enterprise. At its most basic level, the product acts as a "proxy" for all Web traffic. An enterprise redirects all of its traffic to Websense, which acts as the network gateway. That means all traffic coming in and out of the enterprise networks passes through Websense’s data center and servers. While rerouting traffic can introduce some latency, most users will find the impact minimal.

Websense Hosted Security Services rolls several security services together, e-mail hosting being one of the most notable. An enterprise redirects all e-mail traffic to Websense’s servers, and all e-mail is checked for spam, malware, phishing attacks and so on. All of that takes place before e-mail arrives at any enterprise server or desktop.

Web filtering is another important component of the service. Administrators can expect to find all of the required rules and recommended blocking categories readily available. An administrator can set what groups/users have access to which Web categories. The rules are fully customizable and, due to the hosted nature of the service, all lists are immediately up-to-date and all rules are applied immediately to all users.

Every incoming and outgoing packet is inspected using a deep packet inspection engine, and threats are identified before the traffic is passed back to the host network. As a service that has ample horsepower behind it, Websense Hosted Security Services is very effective at detecting blended attacks. If an embedded link in an e-mail attempts to spoof a legitimate location and install spyware, the Websense service will prevent the embedded link from arriving in the e-mail, blocking the Web site and preventing the spyware installation.

Topping off the offering is data leakage prevention. The service monitors outgoing traffic to determine if critical information should not be leaving the network—either by a Web 2.0 application or e-mail.

Normally, a hosted offering requires that administrators create a second user list or to define groups. Websense dispenses with that task by offering directory synchronization. Admin can set up the product to synchronize with Active Directory, which will automatically populate groups, user accounts and other pertinent information on Websense Hosted Security Services.

Administrators will find defining policies straightforward and that none of the product's management screens offers any unwelcome surprises. The process for maintaining the product is straightforward and requires the minimal amount of effort for an administrator. Detailed reports round out the offering, and a real-time dashboard keeps administrators on top of network traffic, allowing a hands-on approach to be taken or to model traffic to better define usage policies.

Once you add it all up, Websense Hosted Security Services proves to be a worthwhile alternative to the many hardware-based solutions on the market and has the features and channel programs in place to make this an attractive offering for solution providers looking to enter the hosted security services realm. Those considering Websense’s hosted offerings may also want to take a look at Purewire, a startup that is focusing only on SAAS-based security and is incorporating support for smartphones and other nontraditional access devices.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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