Websense and Proxy Server

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have a question regarding using Proxy server and Websense on the same network. We have currently purchased 150 seats however we want to use these seats for our administration in the company that need different level of web access . We are currently using a MS ISA Server for our operation departments and they can go to 3 sites only through that ISA Proxy. We want to keep using our Proxy server however we are not sure if websense try to fitler the web requests from each PC that go to our Proxy server or will it only fitler the IP of our Proxy server as all the web requests will be made to that particular IP address of our Proxy server?
Question by:dahter
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Hi there, with Websense you can create really granular policies based around active directory groups, computer names and even simple IP addresses.

    Using ISA as the main proxy on the network, Websense Web Security works really good and when you are creating the policies for each group, you can specify exactly what categories or specific websites you want your users to be able to access.

    The best way to setup ISA with Websense is to configure ISA to allow pretty much everything on port 80 through it and that way Websense can be the product that does all of your filtering.

    Although you could use a policy within ISA and a policy within Websense to get deep level blocking, when both products are blocking web traffic, then you will run into problems on trying to ascertain which product is blocking a website when you want to troubleshoot.

    Here's a link to the Websense web security documentation:

    Hope this helps!

    Author Comment

    Well I think maybe I could not express myself clearly. What I want to accomplish is allow everything that comes from the proxy server IP on Websense however filter all of the operation departments on ISA server. So that the ISA can filter the operation department not websense. MY question is how will websense react when all the web requests from Operation departments are made to our ISA server? Will websense try to interfere and filter those web requests or let ISA handle it?
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    I see, well it depends on what version of Websense that you are going to use. Websense Express can work without an ISA proxy server although it can be troublesome to setup and you will need a switch that supports port mirroring.

    If you are using Websense Web Security or similar, then these products all use an integrated proxy such as ISA.

    I would recommend using Websense for all filtering of all your users - just setup different policies, category sets and protocol sets for each department or user that you want to filter.

    However, if you really wanted to use the ISA web filtering for a specific group and Websense for another group, then this is no problem as Websense uses the ISA filtering rules to determine if itself can apply filters to clients / IP addresses or not.

    As a precaution, in Websense, you could also setup a custom group or IP range that contains the users or computers for your Operation Departments and set these to 'No Filtering' or 'Monitor Only'. This way, Websense will see the traffic but do nothing with it and then the ISA rules will apply the level of filtering that you want.


    Author Comment

    It is more of a money saving issue. We do not want websense interfere with ISA traffic so that ISA can filter our users and we can use 150 seat for our administration department.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Makes sense then, my suggestion above should work the way you want it to so!

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