Product HighlightsBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2009-02-10 Email Print
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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.