Logging IM

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Logging IM

Greetings PA community.  I have a question about leveraging our PA firewalls (pair of 5020's) to log instant messaging.  We're a government agency and some of our employees use instant messaging for business purposes and we MUST log these chats as part of our public records policy.  Everything they do with other government agencies over this chat (which is currently AIM) must be logged and stored as a matter of public record.  We haven't deployed our PA's yet and we're still learning about them and what they can do.  I can't find anything obvious in the documentation except for doing application decryption and packet captures which is cool, but less useful than just a text log like we get from our BlueCoat Proxy today.

Any information or experience folks can provide would be helpful!

Thanks!!

-Josh


Accepted Solutions
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L7 Applicator

The firewall only goes into the payload to determine the application and vulnerability scanning (viruses, exploits, spyware, etc.). The logs will log the session but not the chat messages themselves. A proxy will fully handle every request and response, and can therefore log all the details of each one. Since the firewall is not copying the details of the payload, that level of logging is not possible with the packets-per-second you get from the firewall.

It is certainly possible that a feature could be added to allow the speed to be sacrificed to achieve the logging you need. I would suggest working with your account team to see how feasible something like that would be.

Hope this helps,

Greg Wesson

View solution in original post


All Replies
Highlighted
L7 Applicator

The firewall only goes into the payload to determine the application and vulnerability scanning (viruses, exploits, spyware, etc.). The logs will log the session but not the chat messages themselves. A proxy will fully handle every request and response, and can therefore log all the details of each one. Since the firewall is not copying the details of the payload, that level of logging is not possible with the packets-per-second you get from the firewall.

It is certainly possible that a feature could be added to allow the speed to be sacrificed to achieve the logging you need. I would suggest working with your account team to see how feasible something like that would be.

Hope this helps,

Greg Wesson

View solution in original post

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