Using a website filter to restrict Internet access at work is acknowledged as one of the most effective ways to prevent users visiting malware-infected websites and spoof websites harboring ransomware downloads. Yet some businesses are still resistant to the idea of Internet filtering at work due to concerns about cost, complexity and – in some cases – censorship.
Many of these concerns originate from a time when website filters were first used in schools and libraries in order to comply with CIPA at the turn of the century. Hardware-based website filters at the time were comparatively expensive, difficult to use, and prevented students from accessing age-appropriate educational material and support groups.
These issues were widely covered by the media and – in some states – still are. However, website filters have evolved considerably over the past two decades, and now have the ease of use and flexibility required to protect businesses, users and their devices from web-borne threats without obstructing access to business-critical activities – the equivalent of age-appropriate educational material in 2003.
Restrict Internet Access at Work and Enhance Productivity
Cost is not a justifiable reason for failing to implement a website filter at work. The cost of using a website filter to restrict Internet access at work is far less than the cost of recovering from a malware or ransomware attack – particularly if your business operates in a regulated industry in which a breach of data can result in a substantial fine.
Even if you are of the mindset “it will never happen to me”, the cost of using a website filter to restrict Internet access at work can be more than recovered by increased productivity. According to a recent survey by International Data Corp, US companies with 1,000 employees lose an average of $35 million each year due to non-work related Internet activities.
Furthermore, an employer who fails to restrict Internet access at work is considered liable for the actions of its workforce if an employee makes a complaint about being exposed to offensive or inappropriate online content in the workplace. In the most notable case of recent times, Chevron USA paid $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the company had failed to protect an employee from being exposed to content of a sexual nature.
Inexpensive, Easy to Use and Flexible Website Filters
The days of businesses using hardware-based website filters are practically gone. These days, software-based and cloud-based solutions with no capital cost are an inexpensive way to restrict Internet access at work. Neither software-based nor cloud-based solutions require much in the way of maintenance, and updates are usually performed automatically by the software/cloud service provider.
Lessons have been learned from the experiences of schools and libraries at the beginning of the century, and modern website filters have ease-of-use as their primary goal. Typically, website filters to restrict Internet access at work are managed by a centralized web-based portal that eliminates the need to visit each device connected to the network in order to adjust the filter´s settings.
The flexibility of modern website filters is astonishing compared with those available ten years ago. The former process of using blacklists to block requests to visit unsafe websites still remains, but filters can now block access to websites known to harbor malware, IP addresses from which ransomware and spam email has originated, up to 63 categories of websites, and websites by keyword. It is also possible to “whitelist” business-critical websites and applications to prevent them being blocked in error.
Internet Filtering Options from WebTitan
WebTitan offers businesses a choice of three inexpensive, easy to use and flexible website filters. Each is compatible with all hardware-based and virtual networks, and scalable up to 60,000 users without any deterioration of Internet speed or bandwidth limits. The three options are:
WebTitan Gateway is a powerful software-based website filter that provides real-time monitoring of web activity on your network. Among its many features, WebTitan Gateway has automatic configuration, back up, and update, and a diagnostic tool set to troubleshoot network issues.
WebTitan Cloud is a cloud-based website filter that is implemented with a simple redirection of the DNS server´s systems settings. As the filtering mechanisms operate in the cloud, WebTitan Cloud reduces the strain on your server resources and delivers filtered Internet access with imperceptible latency.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is an ideal website filter for businesses that promote a BYOD policy or provide a publicly-accessible wireless network. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi supports dynamic and static IP addresses and can be used to restrict Internet access from single WiFi access points or networks of WiFi hotspots.
Try a Free Trial of WebTitan Gateway, Cloud or Cloud for WiFi
If you have concerns about using a website filter to restrict Internet access at work, try a free trial of WebTitan Gateway, Cloud or Cloud for WiFi to see how inexpensive, easy-to-use and flexible modern day website filters are. Our invitation to try one of our website filtering solutions will not commit you to continuing with our service once the free trial is over, and you do not need to give us any credit card details nor sign a contract in order to take advantage of our offer.
To find out more about how you can use a WebTitan website filter to restrict Internet access at work, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of Sales Technicians will be happy to answer any question you have about mitigating the threat from malware and ransomware and helping enforce user policies in order to have a more productive workplace and intimidation-free working environment.