An Internet content filtering service can help to improve your online security profile by reducing the risk of malware downloads, viruses and infections. By implementing an Internet filter service to protect your networks, your organization can also benefit from increased productivity and reduced bandwidth wastage. This article explains how.
Stop Malware Downloads with an Internet Filter Service that has SSL Inspection
Malware downloads can be devastating for an organization. Once a virus spreads through its network, data can be corrupted, stolen or encrypted, and the cost of resolving the damage caused by the infection can be substantial. In many cases, even Internet users trained on online security maybe aware that a website harbors a malware infection until it is too late.
Recent research conducted by Internet security specialists implies that up to three-quarters of websites – including some with an SSL certificate – contain security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a hacker to install malware. Consequently, due to viruses being harbored in apparently secure websites, not all services for filtering Internet content provide the maximum protection against malware downloads.
An Internet filter service with SSL inspection decrypts the apparently secure website and checks it for malware installations before allowing the Internet user to access the site. By delivering this level of protection, services for filtering Internet content that have SSL inspection help organizations avoid devastating malware downloads, the disruption they cause and the costs they incur.
How an Internet Content Filtering Service Can Enhance Productivity
“Cyberslacking” – using the Internet for non-work related purposes – is estimated to cost organizations billions of dollars each year in lost productivity. Some cyberslacking is harmless and has been shown to have positive benefits for the workforce. However, other forms of cyberslacking can be hostile and create an unpleasant working environment for colleagues.
By implementing an Internet content filtering service, organizations can restrict access to productivity-sapping online activities and block access to websites that contain objectionable material via category and keyword filters. These filters can also be used to block access to certain applications – for example if an organization runs a social media marketing campaign on Facebook, but does not want to give marketing employees access to Facebook Chat.
By restricting access to productivity-sapping online activities, workplace productivity is likely to increase. By blocking access to websites that contain objectionable material, organizations are likely to avoid HR issues and potential legal action should they fail in their duty to provide a safe workplace environment for their employees.
How an Internet Filter Service Can Reduce Bandwidth Wastage
A further benefit of implementing an Internet content filtering service is to reduce bandwidth wastage. Many organizations have a limit on their available bandwidth and, during peak periods, Internet access may become intermittent or some Internet users may be unable to connect to the Internet or download/reply to emails.
For organizations experiencing these issues, the options are to pay for more bandwidth or reduce their bandwidth wastage. A lot of bandwidth is used when Internet users access gaming websites and video streaming websites, or use certain web applications. By restricting access to these types of websites and applications, organizations reduce bandwidth wastage and can avoid purchasing extra bandwidth.
Restrictions do not have to be in place all the time. An Internet content filtering service often has time-based controls that can be set by user, user group or department. Therefore organizations can control the Internet access allowed at certain times of the day – enabling them to take a more relaxed attitude, if appropriate, at times when bandwidth wastage is not an issue.
Additional Benefits of Services for Filtering Internet Content
If your organization operates retail outlets such as shops, cafes and bars, you will be aware that many consumer decisions on where to shop, eat, and spend time are frequently based on whether there is access to a free Internet service. Providing a free Internet service can be good for business, but providing an unprotected free Internet service can also cause problems.
Should a customer inadvertently download an infection onto their device while using your free Internet service, they are more inclined to blame the provider of the service rather than any unsafe browsing activities they may have engaged in. Furthermore, you might also lose more customers than you gain if some customers openly view objectionable material in eyeshot of other customers – particularly minors. Negative word-of-mouth can seriously damage your retail business, but both of these issues can be avoided with an Internet content filtering service.
One further advantage for retailers is that services for filtering Internet content usually produce automated reports. The purpose of these reports is to monitor malware downloads that have been blocked and identify attempts to circumnavigate the filter settings. However they can also be used to provide an insight into your customers´ browsing activities and your organization will be able to use this information to create targeted marketing campaigns – potentially attracting new customers to your business and increasing your sales.
Guidelines for Evaluating a Suitable Internet Content Filtering Service
If you are keen on the idea of implementing an Internet content filtering service, but unsure about which is the most suitable for your organization, the primarily considerations you should take into account are compatibility, scalability and flexibility. The importance of SSL inspection has already been mentioned, and it is a good idea to implement an Internet filter service that has multi-lingual capabilities – not all Internet infections are delivered in English!
It is recommended that you only evaluate services for filtering Internet content that are universally compatible. Universally compatible services for filtering Internet content operate by redirecting your organization´s DNS, and avoid the issue to having to purchase hardware or software that is compatible with your existing network.
Scalability can be an issue for organizations that implement an Internet content filtering service that addresses their present issues, but fails to look ahead. Look for an Internet filter service that has no limit on the number of users if your organization expands, and that will not be a financial burden if your organization contracts in size.
Most services for filtering Internet content protect networks from the threat of malware downloads by a combination of blacklists, category filters and keyword filters. However, to maximize the advantages of an Internet content filtering service, you should also look for a solution that has time-based controls and the ability to block access to an app within a website, but not necessarily the whole website.
Speak with WebTitan about our Services for Filtering Internet Content
WebTitan Cloud is a DNS-based Internet content filtering service that has been designed with compatibility, scalability and flexibility as a priority. Our Internet filter service is easy to implement, quick to configure and has a low management overhead, while protecting your wired and wireless networks from the threat of malware downloads.
The filter settings on our services for filtering Internet content are simple to set and adjust as necessary via a web browser portal – meaning that you can maintain control over Internet access in your organization from any location. Why dedicate significant IT resources to implementing an Internet content filtering solution when, with WebTitan Cloud, you can be filtering the Internet within minutes.
WebTitan Cloud Features
- No software downloads or hardware purchases.
- Imperceptible latency irrespective of the number of users.
- Highly granular and intuitive controls for maximum flexibility.
- Automatically updated blacklists and category filters.
- SSL inspection and multi-lingual filtering.
- Access keys available for emergency filter overrides.
- White-label Internet filter service available for MSPs and re-sellers.
Contact the WebTitan team today to discuss your organization´s requirements and to find out more about our services for filtering Internet content. We offer a thirty-day free trial of WebTitan Cloud so that you can witness the benefits of our Internet content filtering service and experience malware-free Internet browsing.