The ability to block websites at work can be of major benefit to businesses. Industry loses trillions of dollars each year due to “cyber-slacking” and, by preventing employees accessing non-work related websites, businesses should see a significant increase in productivity. However, increased productivity is not the only advantage that businesses get from being able to block websites at work.
By blocking access to certain types of website, businesses can eliminate HR issues caused by employees being offended by what their colleagues are viewing online. Creating a “family-friendly” browsing environment also has benefits for businesses that offer a Wi-Fi service to customers. Just ask Starbucks or McDonalds about the positive PR they received for filtering their Wi-Fi services!
Furthermore, many websites have security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a hacker. By implementing an Internet filter to block sites at work, many sources of malware and ransomware can be filtered out. Depending on their filtering mechanisms, Internet filters can also reduce the risk from botnets and spyware, and help prevent network users become victims of a phishing attack.
How Internet Filters Block Websites at Work
Most businesses have an acceptable use policy employees should adhere to when using the Internet at work. However, Internet use is very difficult to police in a busy workplace environment – making acceptable use policies difficult to enforce. Internet filters to block websites at work overcome this problem by enabling network administrators to block access to websites that violate user policies.
To block websites at work, network administrators log into the Internet filter´s management portal. Within the portal, there is a list of category filters (abortion, adult entertainment, alternative beliefs, etc.) that network administrators can apply with the click of a mouse. The selections can then be fine-tuned using keyword filters and bandwidth controls.
The same filtering parameters do not have to be applied to every employee. Access to different categories of website can be blocked and fine-tuned by user, user group or network-wide. For larger businesses, Internet filters can be integrated with management tools such as Active Directory in order to accelerate the process of applying user policies.
Businesses should Aim for Maximum Network Protection
During the application of user policies, businesses should aim for maximum network protection – blocking access to all bar business-critical websites and applications. However, there is still a chance a business-critical website has a vulnerability that is exploited by a hacker. For this reason, Internet filters to block websites at work have multiple security mechanisms.
The security mechanisms typically consist of blacklists and URIBL/SUBRL filters that compare requests to visit websites against databases of websites and IP addresses known to harbor malware. The security mechanisms also look for matches with known sources of spam, and can be configured to deny requests to visit websites that hide their true identity behind the whois privacy feature or a proxy server.
In order to be truly effective, an Internet filter to block websites at work should have SSL inspection. This feature inspects the content of encrypted websites to ensure the websites are virus-free and comply with the business´s acceptable use policies. As more than half the world´s most visited websites are encrypted, this function is essential for the effectiveness of the Internet filter.
Block Websites at Work with Help from WebTitan
WebTitan is an industry leader in online security solutions. Since 1999, we have been helping businesses protect themselves from many different types of web-borne threats, and – taking feedback from our existing client base into account – we have developed a range of three Internet filters to block websites at work that are specifically designed for their ease of use and flexibility:
- WebTitan Gateway is a software-based Internet filter that can be installed behind the network firewall or hosted in a virtual environment. Compatible with most operating systems and scalable to thousands of users, WebTitan Gateway has a comprehensive reporting suite administrators can use to monitor web activity and identify threats to network security.
- WebTitan Cloud is a DNS-based Internet filter that is a low maintenance solution to block websites at work. With automatic configuration, automatic updates and automatic back-up, WebTitan Cloud can manage multiple locations from one portal – making it the ideal solution for Managed Service Providers and service resellers.
- WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is the best Internet filter for business that operate a publicly-accessible wireless network or BYOD policy. Able to support a nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots from a single location, WebTitan Cloud for WiFi delivers a filtered Internet service to network users with imperceptible loss of Internet speed.
To find out more about WebTitan´s Internet filters and blocking websites in the workplace, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of Sales Technicians will be happy to answer any questions you have about increasing productivity, creating a family-friend browsing environment, or protecting your network from web-borne threats with an Internet filter to block websites at work.
After learning more about your current network and network security, we will offer you a free trial of the WebTitan filter most appropriate for your needs. Our free trial will give you the opportunity to evaluate the ease with which it is possible to block websites at work, and experience the benefits.