An Overview of DNS Based Web Filtering

DNS based web filtering is the backbone of most Internet content filtering solutions. This overview of how DNS based web filtering works explains why it is the most effective way to protect businesses against malware and ransomware, and how a DNS based content filter can be commercially advantageous.

A Quick Explanation of DNS Based Web Filtering

When an employee clicks on a link to visit a website, or enters a website address into their browser, the employee´s device needs to find the website´s IP address – a code assigned to the website by the Domain Name System (DNS). IP addresses work in much the same way as telephone numbers inasmuch as they provide a means for devices to communicate with each other.

Once the IP address has been found, a DNS based content filter checks it against one or more databases of IP addresses related to websites known to harbor malware or ransomware. If a match is found, the filter prevents a connection being made between the employee´s device and the target website. This process can also be used to prevent users accessing non-work related websites to improve productivity.

Why is This Process More Effective?

The Domain Name System of assigning IP addresses to domain names was developed from the process used on the ARPANET system (the forerunner of the Internet) so computers could find each other quicker. ARPANET users could still search using alphanumeric domain names (as Internet users do today), but their computers only had a numeric code to find in order to connect users.

When you think about it, the process makes sense. If a computer is trying to locate another computer via an alphanumeric domain name, there are sixty-two possible entries for each character (upper case, lower case and the numbers 0-9). By assigning a numeric-exclusive IP address, there are only ten possible entries for each character. With fewer possible combinations of multiple characters, computers find each other much quicker.

The same concept applies to DNS based web filtering. Because a DNS based content filter can run a numeric vs. numeric check against a database of IP addresses, the filtering process is much quicker than if the filter had to run an alphanumeric vs. alphanumeric check against a database of domain names. The consequence is that checks for websites harboring malware are completed with imperceptible latency.

How is a DNS Based Content Filter Commercially Advantageous?

In several ways. Due to the faster filtering process, employees do not have to wait to be connected to websites -saving time between completing tasks. Businesses are assured employees are only accessing safe websites – thus eliminating the consequences of a malware, ransomware or phishing attack – plus DNS based web filtering services can be configured to prevent users visiting non-work related websites.

This final point can be a significant commercial advantage to businesses. “Cyber-slacking” is estimated to cost business billions of dollars each year, and although a little chill time can be beneficial to productivity, it needs to be controlled in order to prevent Internet abuse – which in many businesses is a sackable offence. Furthermore, by preventing offensive online content from entering the workplace, employers can create a much better working environment.

The WebTitan Cloud DNS Based Web Filtering Service

WebTitan Cloud is a DNS based web filtering service which is quick to implement and easy to configure. The service not only includes a DNS based content filter to prevent employees visiting websites harboring malware and ransomware – or websites constructed to execute phishing attacks – but also Category Filters and Keyword Filters that can be applied with the click of a mouse.

Category Filters and Keyword Filters prevent employees visiting non-work related websites by category (i.e. pornography, online shopping, racial hatred, etc.) or by keyword (i.e. “YouTube”, “football”, “chat”, etc.) in order to enhance productivity and create a better working environment. The filters can be applied business-wide, or by individual user or user-group, with the possibility to create exceptions in the event that (for example) Marketing requires access to the business´s social media accounts.

If you have never experience the effectiveness of DNS based web filtering – or you would like a simple way to increase workplace productivity – do not hesitate to contact us and request a free trial of WebTitan Cloud. Our free trial offer gives you the opportunity to evaluate our DNS based content filter in your own environment without committing to continue with the service once the free trial has finished. Contact us today to find out more.