Consider Web Filter Capabilities

By Brett Littrell  |  Posted 2008-03-06 Print this article Print


Little did we know at the time, Barracuda's Syslog format was all but useless due to the inability to efficiently parse it with regular expressions. In addition, Barracuda would eventually break its own secure LDAP functionality with an update-leaving customers not using MS LDAP with clear-text LDAP only.

We found that the second thing to look at is what the Web filter can do. We reviewed the different Web filters and found that most did the exact same thing: blocked content by category, blocked viruses, blocked spyware, etc. Barracuda seemed to fit the bill for this as well, and it still seems to do a good job, except for when it decided to move MySpace from one category to another, leaving me to figure it out on my own when a lot of students started accessing the site all of a sudden.

Reporting is a Major Issue

The third feature to look at is reporting. For us, this can be a very major issue. All the different Web filters reported in one way or another; Barracuda as well. The interface for the Barracuda is actually pretty nice. But a huge issue Barracuda has is this: If you run a report that requires the server to access archive files, you are out of luck with the Barracuda. We found this out the hard way when a police investigation requested some records. It took us more than two months to find out from a Barracuda technician that this is a known issue, and that the fix is at least two major firmware releases away. This, of course, is not something you would find out until after you have had the software installed for a period of time.

Security is Key

The fourth issue is security. Not having your Web filter bypassed or made a prime target for DOS (denial of service) attacks is always a good thing to look for. So far we have not had any issues with someone breaking into the Web filter, but I did find an easy to exploit DOS attack that literally shuts down the server by downloading a certain type of file. I reported this to Barracuda and never had it fixed.


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