Programmable network filter

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bignose956

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Feb 22, 2019
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Is there a network filter that can be programmed? I am in charge of a school computer network, and I need a way to monitor and filter network activity. I am looking for a hardware device that acts a bridge between the gateway and the various routers (there are Chromebooks on the network, so a software filter wont work). Something like this:



When I say the filter can be "programmed," I mean that I can customize which domains it blocks, what HTML it will return on blocked websites, and what it does with websites that are not blocked (specifically, I want to log them into a file which the network admins, including myself, can access). I am hoping for something that is not programmed through a UI, but rather with a scripting language - or Java. I assume that, if such a thing exists, you would program it through its webpage (e.g 192.168.1.X) or by directly connecting it to your computer.

Anything like that exist?
 

dlipman

David
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Feb 14, 2013
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https://www.barracuda.com/products/cloudgenfirewall/features
The Web Security Gateway option of the CloudGen Firewall enables highly granular, real-time visibility into online activity broken down by individual users and applications, letting administrators create and enforce effective Internet content and access policies. It protects user productivity, blocks malware downloads and other web-based threats, and enables compliance by blocking access to unwanted websites and servers, providing an important additional layer of security alongside application control.
 

zx10guy

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The feature you're looking for is called content filtering. Next gen and UTM firewalls have this feature/capability. Based on your requirements, you don't need a separate physical box. All you have to do is replace your edge router/firewall with one that has content filtering capabilities. Many of these firewalls have different levels of customization. Many times the content filtering feature is a yearly subscription service. What this means is the firewall company will constantly provide updates to the filtering "database". Since this is for a school, this is a good idea to get. As you by yourself won't have the cycles to stay on top of manually creating/updating black lists to enforce acceptable use policies.
 

Triple6

Rob
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Also you can use a single UTM for both networks as opposed to having various routers as in your diagram, I'll make management simpler, you can seperate the networks using VLAN's.
 

bignose956

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Feb 22, 2019
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Also you can use a single UTM for both networks as opposed to having various routers as in your diagram, I'll make management simpler, you can seperate the networks using VLAN's.
There are three buildings at the school, and each have their own router. The routers are connected to the gateway (which is in a single building) via underground cables. In other words, we can't really get rid of the routers :p
 

zx10guy

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You don't necessarily need to use VLANs either to consolidate. Every UTM firewall I've worked with allows each of the physical interfaces to be configured as a layer 3/routing port. All you have to do is configure two ports with IP addresses on each of the sub networks you are running.

You can still get rid of the routers.
 
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My Ubiquiti does deep pack inspection. It is not all I dreamed it to be but it does show me what the network is being used for. Also, it can tell me which clients are using what and the most.
 

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