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OpenDNS vs Websense

Posted on 2013-05-22
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I work in a large enterprise corporation where websense is deployed. But since I have used opendns in the past and it worked well, and I see that they have a new product called Umbrella, I would like to know if it would be beneficial switching from websense to opendns.

I know Websense is a hardware device while opendns is int he cloud, so that right there is a money saver and less headaches when it comes to managing and troubleshooting etc.

But short of calling each vendor to just probably hear partial answers and sales pitches, I'd like to know the truth of which product is better for our environment. If opendns can do everything websense can, and its cheaper monetarily and administratively, then its a win.

We use websense and block certain users and groups while other users and groups can access those blocked sites\content. We have many remote sites worldwide.

Can opendns block on the content level and down to the url even?
What are the main differences? Anyone have experience with this?
Thanks!
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Question by:tolinrome
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Craig Beck earned 1000 total points
ID: 39190457
OpenDNS is not a content-filter.  It is a DNS filter.  It does absolutely nothing with your traffic, apart from either return the correct URL, or not.

Their Umbrella service goes a bit further than this and apparently selectively tunnels your traffic via a VPN connection to a proxy which is used to filter your traffic.

AFAIK, OpenDNS can't do everything WebSense can, and it never will for clients actually on your network.  Similarly, your WebSense won't be able to filter users who aren't onsite, whereas OpenDNS Umbrella will.

If you don't care about users who aren't onsite, choose WebSense.
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by:btan
btan earned 1000 total points
ID: 39190789
I simply see them as OpenDNS cover DNS checks while WebSense cover Web Content filter aspects. It may be comparing orange to apple. It is like DNS vs URL based checks. For holistic check, it will be good to have both and esp for DDoS attack that can come in form of DNS and HTTP as common vector ... Spamhaus was an victim for DNS flood and SLowloris is a HTTP DoS used by Anonymous

But since you mentioned Umbrella that is then the web filtering should be the main objective or factor used for comparison, taking away the cost which OpenDNS has an advantage.

Websense is a big and long player in web filter arena implemented through anti-virus software, a dedicated server or an appliance. Most require a considerable investment in infrastructure, hardware, training and expensive subscriptions.

OpenDNS does not required additional s/w or h.w and work out quite neat and simple for SME type due to quick deployment (i heard it is minutes).

But what I thought will be useful to drill in is the ability to derive contextual information using identity and content from the traffic they see. Who has
a) better integration with enterprise identity store?
b) Provide transparent authentication to sites?
c) Able to analysis actions from malicious intent w/o relying so much on blacklist or even whitelist, some form of heuristic analytics will be nice...at granularity to page level vs domain level?

I see OpenDNS strong in area for tackling C&C callbacks since DNS space is their strength, Umbrella leverage on that reputation based on millions of subscribed customer - image ability to know and block site hosting malware, bot networks etc (they has something called umbrella securtiy graph in lab). WebSense really come in more of giving close protection at premises with variety covering Enterprise (not en user or consumer or school type) Web DLP, policy control and Web protocol close to Web Appl FW (but that). Cost may seem to be final call though

Maybe these interesting may help
http://blog.rscc.co.uk/2012/02/open-dns-enterprise-uk-reseller.html
http://community.websense.com/blogs/websense-insights/archive/2012/03/02/websense-web-security-gateway-vs-opendns.aspx
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 39191582
@breadtan - OpenDNS Umbrella does provide 'selective' web filtering capabilities as well as DNS filtering.

http://info.umbrella.com/rs/opendns/images/DS-Umbrella-Biz-Tech-FAQs.pdf
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Expert Comment

by:btan
ID: 39193066
Thanks then it is another add to OpenDNS arsenal suite
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