Any company, retail business or educational organization that allows employees, customers or students to access the Internet should consider implementing an Internet site blocker in order to enhance its protection against malware and ransomware downloads.
By being able to block Internet sites that harbor malware and ransomware downloads, companies, businesses and organizations are proactively improving their online security, rather than relying on security measures such as antivirus software that are often unable to prevent fast-acting attacks.
In addition to enhancing protection against malware and ransomware downloads, an Internet site blocker can be used to prevent employees from visiting productivity-sapping websites and “cyber-slacking”, or from visiting websites containing material that is inappropriate for a workplace.
Also, by providing a family-friendly Internet service, many retail businesses have gained a commercial advantage over venues that provide an unfiltered service; and – due to the risk of exposure to inappropriate material – an Internet site blocker is compulsory for state-funded schools in many states.
How an Internet Site Blocker Works
Despite an Internet site blocker having plenty of benefits, its operation is remarkably simple. A first line of defense automatically compares users´ requests to visit websites against blacklists of websites known to harbor malware and ransomware downloads, and also websites that have been used to execute phishing attacks. If a match is found, the request to visit that website is denied.
The second line of defense is more beneficial to companies, businesses and organizations trying to enhance productivity and prevent exposure to inappropriate material. In this line of defense, system administrators can choose which category of website (abortion, adult entertainment, alternative beliefs, alcohol, etc.), they would like to block access to. This is done with a single click of a mouse.
The third line of defense – keyword filters – serves the purpose of enhancing online security and fine-tuning the category filters to help ensure compliance with acceptable use policies. In this line of defense, access to websites and apps containing certain words can be blocked, as can downloads with the file extensions most commonly associated with malware (.exe, .rar, .scr, etc.).
More Advanced Features of an Internet Website Blocker
Although the basic features of an Internet content control solution provide an excellent defense against malware and ransomware downloads, some companies, businesses and organizations require more versatility in their mechanisms to block Internet sites. This is so that (for example), employees working within a marketing department are not blocked from accessing social media platforms.
For this reason, many mechanisms to control Internet content include advanced features that allow the category and keyword filters to be applied by individual user, user group or universally. This allows (for example) older students to access age-appropriate educational material and support groups, while blocking access to the same websites to younger students.
Most mechanisms to block Internet sites also have a “whitelisting” facility. This allows users to access business-critical websites that may be blocked by an over-zealously applied Internet site blocker, and allows trusted websites to bypass the Internet site blocker in order to prevent latency during the SSL inspection process – a vital process for blocking online threats hidden within encrypted websites.
Web Filters to Block Internet Sites
WebTitan offers companies, businesses and organizations a choice of software-based or cloud-based web filters to block Internet sites. Each has been developed with ease of use in mind, while offering maximum protection against malware and ransomware downloads and the highest level of versatility. The choice of web filters to block Internet sites is:
WebTitan Gateway is a software-based web filter that is located behind the firewall. WebTitan Gateway has automatic configuration and LDAP/Active Directory integration for quick deployment, is scalable up to thousands of users and is easy to manage via a web-based administration portal.
WebTitan Cloud offers the same advanced features as WebTitan Gateway, with the primary difference being that the filtering mechanisms operate in the cloud – saving your CPU´s resources. WebTitan Cloud can be deployed within minutes and is universally compatible with all types of network.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is particularly suitable for companies operating BYOD policies or businesses and organizations offering a WiFi service to the public. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi enhances online security, helps improve workplace productivity and prevents exposure to inappropriate material for users accessing the Internet from a single WiFi access point or from a WiFi hotspot network.
Take a Free Trial of a WebTitan Internet Site Blocker
If you would like to enhance your defenses against malware and ransomware, would like to improve workplace productivity or prevent your Internet users from being exposed to inappropriate material, you are invited to contact us and request a free trial of our web filters to block Internet sites. Our Sales Technicians will be happy to explain the free trial offer to you, answer any questions you have about how to block Internet sites, and discuss the best WebTitan web filter to evaluate.
How to secure guest Wi-Fi to block threats
A guest Wi-Fi network must be separated from your business or home network. You should set a unique password for guests and should monitor use and block unknown devices. You should also use a web filter to restrict the content that guest users can access. You can apply different filtering controls for guests than other users.
Will an Internet site blocker work on public Wi-Fi networks?
One of the main benefits of a cloud-based internet site blocker is it protects all devices, regardless of where they are used to access the Internet. That means a laptop issued by your organization will have the DNS settings changed to point to the service provider, where the filtering occurs. That means it will be protected while connected to your wired network, Wi-Fi network, or any public Wi-Fi access point.
Can an Internet site blocker be bypassed?
It is not possible to make it impossible to bypass an Internet content blocking solution, but you can block the main ways that individuals may try to bypass filtering controls. You will need to lockdown your DNS settings so they cannot be changed. You can then configure the filter to block anonymizer services and proxies.
Are guest networks secure?
Guest Wi-Fi networks are set up to keep guest users away from your internal resources and data for security reasons. However, they may not provide secure Internet access. That requires a web filtering solution. If you are setting up a guest Wi-Fi network, make sure that a web filter is applied that prevents access to malicious websites and unsavory content.
How much does an Internet website blocker cost?
The cost of Internet filtering varies considerably from service provider to service provider, so it really does pay to conduct research before choosing. Some solutions will cost upwards of $2.50 per user, per month, with the cost increasing if you need add-on features such as support. WebTitan is very competitively priced, starting at $0.90 per user with no hidden costs.