Can Websense filter Internet requests from a Mac?

Article Number: 000003872
Products: Web Security and Filter, Websense Enterprise
Versions: 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.0, 7.1, 7.5

Problem Description

In what ways are Mac users filtered differently compared to Windows users?


Filtering Macintosh (Mac) computers is possible with certain restrictions

Support includes end-user Web browsing and the use of network-based applications; such as, streaming media players, peer-to-peer clients, and instant messaging clients.
  • With the exception of delivering the protocol block messages, all other end-user functionality is supported and operates correctly.
  • The Websense Remote Filtering Client is not supported on Macintosh computers.
  • Identifying the Mac user by user name requires enabling manual authentication.
  • The remainder of this article provides specific system requirements and other details.

Websense Requirements

  • Q: Which versions of Websense support Macintosh computers for end users?
  • A: The latest Websense versions support Mac users. However, of more importance is the client web browser version used on the Mac computer. Check the deployment guide for current details.

  • Q: Will Client Policy Manager (CPM) or Remote Filtering Client run on Macs?
  • A: No, both the client agents run only on Microsoft Windows platforms.

  • Q: Can Websense server components, for general Web filtering, run on a Mac OS?
  • A: No.

  •  Q: Is Websense browser-based reporting supported on Mac clients?
  • A: No.

Macintosh Requirements

  • Q: What versions of Mac operating systems are supported?
  • A: Mac OS X 10.3 and later.

  • Q: Is the Mac-based Web browsers supported?
  • A: The Safari browser is not supported. Use Firefox, on your Mac clients, for best results.

Supported Functionality

  • Q: What Websense functionality is supported?
  • A: All Web filtering functionality for end users that includes monitoring, logging, and blocking of Internet activities. The following exceptions apply
    • The protocol block message cannot be displayed when users are prevented from accessing non-browser-based information; such as streaming media. In such cases, users are blocked as expected, but they do not see the explanatory message because it uses a communications approach specific to Microsoft Windows. Regular Web-based block messages do appear correctly on Macintosh computers.
    • Transparent identification is not supported.

  • Q: Do Mac client computers provide Websense log entries for normal logging and reporting?
  • A: Yes.

  • Q: Does Manual Authentication work correctly on Macs for end-user authentication?
  • A: Yes.

  • Q: Can user- and group-based policies be applied correctly to Mac clients?
  • A: Yes, assuming a Websense-supported directory service and user identification approach are being used by the organization. End users are required to manually authenticate to provide credentials.

  • Q: If an organization is using Macs within a Windows-based network, will DC Agent or Logon Agent work correctly for transparent user identification?
  • A: No, DC Agent relies on NetBIOS calls from workstations to domain controllers to pick up user names. Macintosh computers do not support NetBIOS. Logon Agent looks into the registry to determine the user name. Macintosh computers do not have a registry.

Notes & Warnings

Additional Problems and Search Terms:
Best practice with setting up macbooks with websense?, Filtering of Mac User