Blocking some streaming media but not others

We are being challenged by users who eat up bandwidth with streaming radio and video. We could block it, but some usage is OK because people occasionally view business-related Webcasts. Is there a way to distinguish the streams?

You have to distinguish between types of connections on a case-by-case basis using protocol and source address information.

Products from Websense and Verso control streaming media access, which includes managing the ever-changing blacklist of streaming sites and protocols.

The open source Web proxy Squid can block streaming connections - if you can identify the Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions headers used by the streams you want to block and construct firewall rules to stop well-known streaming protocols.

Because many media streams fail over to Port 80 when other ports and protocols are blocked, it could be difficult to manage this through technical means.

Without strict workstation and network configuration management, clever users can work around any technical solution. Publish an acceptable use policy, declare your intent to enforce it, and then follow through.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.