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Cisco IDS Vs Websense

Answered Question
Feb 28th, 2003
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I have a pix firewall up n running and i m in the process of installing cisco hardware ids.


i want to know if cisco ids and/or pix can help me have as much control over access to the internet as websense.


i know websense has 29 content based categories that can be used to block outbound traffic and pix and ids area basically for restricting inbound traffic and classifying actions as attacks respectively.


i have to justify if we need or dont need websense with cisco ids and websense and would appreciate ur comments.




You are speaking of two different animals here. Websense looks at the URL used by the user to access websites. Based on the policies you set in Websense the URL is permitted or denied. The PIX sends the URL to the Websense server prior to allowing the connection to the server. The IDS decodes packets and does not care what the URL is. You will need both systems for best protection.


I do not recommend Websense. I have ran an audit of a websense server and it does not block all of the urls and I have seen problems with the reportng function. A better product is Vericept.

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Correct Answer

You are speaking of two different animals here. Websense looks at the URL used by the user to access websites. Based on the policies you set in Websense the URL is permitted or denied. The PIX sends the URL to the Websense server prior to allowing the connection to the server. The IDS decodes packets and does not care what the URL is. You will need both systems for best protection.


I do not recommend Websense. I have ran an audit of a websense server and it does not block all of the urls and I have seen problems with the reportng function. A better product is Vericept.

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