Sophos' Web Appliance WS1000
Strengths: Highly flexible policy configuration with high-end technology.
Weaknesses: Very high cost.
Verdict: Big capability at a big price.
The Sophos Web Appliance WS1000 effectively and seamlessly blocks spyware, phishing, virus, malware and other unwanted web-borne threats at the gateway.
It also allows granular administrative control over permitted actions. The use of Sophos Behavioral Genotype Protection is, according to the vendor, the key to stopping malicious threats, malware and even encrypted malware prior to allowing malicious code to run within your enterprise. The WS1000 uses bi-directional traffic inspection of in- and outbound web traffic. This product features a web-based management console that is easy to navigate for administration, user activity, policy configurations, compliance and web traffic load, all in a user-friendly dashboard configuration.
The WS1000 is easy to use from the moment it is taken out of the box and placed in the rack. Setup and initial configuration via the setup wizard took just a few minutes, and the appliance was up and running. The default policy was quite comprehensive and required little configuration. We also liked the clean and organized web GUI, which was not only very nice to look at, but it was intuitive and easy to navigate.
This product has some excellent performance features. It can become a web proxy and plug directly into Active Directory or existing LDAP infrastructures.
Documentation is complete, administrator friendly and provides administrators installing the device with all the information needed to get the appliance online and operational.
Sophos support includes 24/7 telephone technical support and, since the WS1000 is a managed appliance, Sophos proactively monitors it for connection failures and event-driven alerts, and offers on-demand remote access assistance, included in the base price.
At $32,000, this product’s high functionality comes at a very high price. Nonetheless, we find this product to be a good value for the money for organizations that have the ability to make this investment and have the need for the power of a managed appliance.