Being able to control Internet access has dual benefits. The first is you can prevent network users visiting websites that handicap productivity or may offend other network users. The second benefit is that being able to control Internet access mitigates the threat from malware, ransomware and phishing.
In order to control Internet access easily, you need a web filter that is both versatile and easy to use. Both of these features are important to prevent business efficiency being sacrificed in favor of network security, and to ensure network users can access business-critical web applications when required.
The Importance of Versatility
There are many different factors that contribute towards the versatility of a web filter. The number of category filters it has, the options to set user policies by individual user and user group, and the facility to whitelist trusted websites are key to being able to control Internet access with “granularity”.
Other factors network managers may want to take into consideration include the options to apply filtering parameters by time, set bandwidth controls and block specific applications by blacklisting them. Then the most important factor is the ease with which the Internet access controls can be applied.
Why Ease of Use is a Key Factor
Even when a website filter has the features to control Internet access with maximum granularity, it may not prevent network users visiting non-work related websites if it is too complicated to configure. Not only might this mean the first benefit of Internet access control is eliminated, it could also leave doors open for cybercriminals to deploy malicious payloads.
Consequently, whatever mechanisms are put in place to control Internet access, they have to be easy to operate. There are times when network managers may have to respond quickly to breach notification alerts and, by having to stop and read an instruction manual before taking any action, vital time could be lost in dealing with the alert and preventing other users visiting the same online source.
How Web Filters Help Prevent Malware Infections
Web filters help prevent malware infections by preventing network users visiting websites known to harbor malware. They do this by comparing each request to visit a website against blacklists compiled by anti-malware organizations and updated in time by the web filtering service provider.
Further security mechanisms prevent network users visiting websites that have sharing IP addresses from which spam has originated. These IP addresses are commonly associated with ransomware and phishing attacks, and the mechanisms that control Internet access to them are also updated in real time.
The Significance of HTTPS Filtering
SSL encryption has become very popular in recent years, driven by Google enhancing the rankings of websites with an https:// prefix. Unfortunately an https:// prefix is not a guarantee a website is safe. In fact, 99.5% of “secure” websites with the word “PayPal” in their name are fake.
Web filters with SSL inspection de-crypt encrypted websites during the filtering process so that antivirus software can scan them for malware. While the website is decrypted, the filter also compares the content of the website against its Internet access controls to ensure user policies are being adhered to.
Control Internet Access Easily with WebTitan
WebTitan is an industry leader in online security solutions, and our range of solutions to control Internet access has everything discussed above to ensure that Internet access control is versatile, easy and effective. Furthermore, low-maintenance overheads mean that WebTitan web filters are “set and forget” solutions. Among the rich selection of features you will find on a WebTitan web filter are:
- Real-time monitoring of web activity on your network.
- Customizable reports to review historic web activity.
- Mechanisms to block botnets, spyware and adware.
- Policy violation alerts automatically sent by email.
- Automatic updates to website categorizations.
- Cloud keys to override filtering parameters.
- Seamless integration with directory tools.
- Options to delegate administrative roles.
- Automatic back-up and restore facility.
- Non-standard port blocking.
If you would like to learn more about WebTitan´s range of web filters to control Internet access, do not hesitate to get in touch. We offer web filtering solutions that can be hosted in your own infrastructure or in the cloud. We have solutions for wireless networks that are capable of supporting all sizes of network from a single router to a nationwide network of WiFi hotspots.
After discussing your requirements with our team of Sales Technicians, we will offer you a free trial of the WebTitan web filter most suitable for your needs. Throughout your trial, our team will be on hand whenever necessary to provide support and help you find the optimum settings to easily control Internet access while mitigating the threat from malware, ransomware and phishing.