Getting Started

The Sophos Web Appliance is designed to function as a web proxy that provides HTTP security at the gateway. Potentially risky content is scanned for various forms of malware. URL requests are compared to the Sophos site list, in which sites are assigned a risk class and a site category. Access to sites can be blocked on the basis of degree of risk or by site category.

Instead of blocking access to URLs that violate your organization’s acceptable browsing policy, you can, as the administrator, allow access or allow access after a warning is displayed to users, which they can acknowledge and continue or cancel the request to view. User access to such URLs is recorded. Also, as the administrator, you can extend or override the Sophos site list by adding URLs to a local site list. In the case of sites already in the Sophos site list, you can override the default handling by changing the risk class or site category.

Only approved and scanned content is passed to users. It may be cached to increase performance. If users attempt to access blocked URLs or download blocked content, message pages are displayed, informing users of the problem and optionally providing a user-feedback form that allows them to request changes to the handling of the blocked URL or file type. Similarly, requests for large files can cause the web appliance to display a patience page (if you have chosen to enable this option), advising the user that downloading and scanning is in progress and will take some time.

This section introduces the role of the Sophos Web Appliance and the Sophos Management Appliance in your network. It describes the compatible platforms and the administrative web interface. It provides an overview of the appliance’s major capabilities and configurable behavior and a general description of the appliances’ software and security data updating features. Finally, this section provides information on contacting Sophos Technical Support .