Review: Websense Enterprise

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Review: Websense Enterprise

This suite of programs is designed to control access to the internet and keep the enemy at bay. It integrates with many third-party defense applications to offer a war room in a browser from which the state of the defenses can be examined, as well as dictating how the various units work together to shield the internal network.

This suite of programs is designed to control access to the internet and keep the enemy at bay. It integrates with many third-party defense applications to offer a war room in a browser from which the state of the defenses can be examined, as well as dictating how the various units work together to shield the internal network.

The suite is based on a master database supported by reporting tools that provide analysis and reporting on internet and desktop activity. Enterprise Client Policy Manager (CPM) sets the rules, allowing the setting of controls, monitoring of installations and launches, and creation of reports to show operational details.

The comparative data generated can be viewed by anyone in the company through the Explorer for CPM browser window, but it acts as a filter to show only the details that a specific user has permission to see.

CPM comprises six modules. CPM Server is the heart of Websense Enterprise and handles communications with the client machines. It houses the Websense Enterprise Master Database and is responsible for key parts of the system such as sending inventory requests and downloading CPM policies to the clients using the Client Deployment Agent as a link with the Client Agents.

The server takes the policies from a separate database stored on the Policy Server which holds all Websense configuration data. The activities of the CPM Server are controlled through the Enterprise Manager interface and this is where policies are set up.

Clients are discovered through the Websense User Service, which identifies "directory objects," the individual users, user groups, domains, and machines. CPM Reporter is the final element, and schedules reporting for inventory and launches.

Add to this linking in third-party firewalls, antivirus software and so on, Websense is not the easiest piece of real estate to install. But it does provide a strong, integrated defense to control user internet access, foiling phishing attempts, trojan planting, hacker attacks, internal data theft and more.

Websense Enterprise makes the administrator's job easier, because policy becomes a function rather than an educational process.

For:

Gives a good overall view of internet security and easy control of internet activity when multiple products are used.


Against:

Can be quite tricky to install.


Verdict:

Worth persevering with to create a unified defence system. The ability to track user internet activity and desktop configurations provides a good basis for satisfying compliance requirements.

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