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Barracuda Content Shield

How to Configure Advanced Filtering Policies

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Barracuda Content Shield (BCS) provides visibility into customer web activity while enforcing access policies across all users and devices. With more than 170 URL categories, BCS does more than protect your customers from malicious websites; it also ensures that you’re protecting their employees from accessing sites that would violate company policy, norms, and standards.

With BCS Plus, you can either use preset filtering policies or create customized policies for a particular user or group, and base policies on either categories, domains, or URLs.

Configuring Local or LDAP Users and Groups

If you have not already done so, you can either manually add local users and groups, or synchronize your LDAP / AD services with the BCS service – this enables you to apply policies by users and / or groups. To connect to your LDAP, see LDAP Active Directory and BCSOr you can choose to Manually Configure Local Users and groups.

Updates to policies may take up to 15 minutes to take effect.

Creating Rules

  1. Click Manage for the account for which you want to configure rules/policies.
  2. Click on Advanced Filtering in the left pane.
  3. On the Advanced Filtering page, click Add Rule. Click in the text box at the top of the popup to select one or more users or groups.
  4. Select an Action of Block or Allow.
  5. Select a rule Type of either Categories, Domains, or URLs.
  6. Check each category for which you want the rule to apply, or enter the target domain or URL in the pop-up.
  7. Click Save.

Domain look up: To find out which category a domain belongs to, go to the ACCOUNT SETTINGS page and use the Look For Domain Category feature.

How Rules Are Applied (Order of Precedence)

Rules are applied in the order in which they appear in the table. Each rule takes precedence over the rule(s) listed below that rule. For example, you may create a group rule that blocks for Everyone or for a specific group of users. If you want to create a separate policy allowing one user to access, and that user is part of the group for which you created the block rule, you must place the rule for the user above the rule for the group. If you place the policy for that user below the group policy, then would be blocked for that user as well.

Note that enabling creating a URL policy for a user or group means that BCS intercepts SSL traffic in order to view the URL contents, which can require additional processing resources on the endpoint machine. For this reason, make sure to only URL policies for specific users, not for entire groups – unless everyone in the group has a machine that can handle the additional resource usage.

After you have created rules for users and/or groups, you can create a new rule:

  • By clicking More Options (dots.png) in the table row for a user or group, and then clicking Create Rule in the drop-down. This adds another rule for that user or group.
  • By clicking ADD RULE to create a new rule for a different user or group.

Traffic that is affected by advanced filtering policies is logged in the Web Filtering Logs.

Barracuda recommends testing your initial selection of block/allow policies using various domains that you know you want blocked, and/or that you know your organization needs to access, and then make updates to your policies as needed.

How Domains Are Categorized

Barracuda Networks uses one of the most extensive web content definition databases, covering some of the highest risk websites on the Internet. The websites in the Barracuda Networks database are organized into content categories (subcategories) which are grouped by supercategories. When you create rules that block categories of websites, you can choose a supercategory to block, or you can drill down and block websites at the subcategory level. See Web Use Categories for a list of content categories.

Viewing Configured Filtering Policies

If you have already configured Advanced Filtering policies by user or group, the following displays in a table on the Advanced Filtering page in a separate section for each user or group. You can click the blue chevron to expand or hide the policies for each user or group.

  • Order – The order in which the rule is applied, relative to other rules you have created. (0=first, 1=second, etc.). You can click More Options (dots.png) in the table and select Move to Top or Move to Bottom to change the order in which the rules are applied.
  • Action – Block or Allow
  • Type – How the rule is defined; either by categories, domains, or URLs
  • Rule – Lists values included in the rule

Deleting a Group

At the right of a table row for a group, click More Options (dots.png) for a drop-down and click Delete.

Adjusting Policies for Users and Groups

After you have created and tested Advanced Filtering policies, you may need to adjust settings according to the needs of your organization based on the following (or other) reasons:

  • Changes in browsing or business policies of your organization
  • Need for access to some domains that are included in a category that you need to block, in general

See also:

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