There are many scenarios in which the implementation of a web blocker can have benefits for businesses and organizations. The primary benefit of solutions for blocking web access is that they can prevent Internet users visiting websites harboring malware or ransomware, websites that are known to be fake and used for phishing attacks, and websites that hide their true identity behind a proxy server or the whois privacy feature. Genuine websites do not need to hide their true identity.
In a business environment, a web blocker can also prevent employees from visiting time-wasting websites unrelated to work. According to various studies, between 30-40% of Internet use during working hours is non work-related, 77% of employees visit personal social media sites from the office, and 70% of visits to pornographic websites occurs between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. By blocking access to non work-related websites, solutions for blocking web access can help increase productivity.
A further benefit of a web blocker to prevent Internet users openly viewing inappropriate content. This is particularly relevant in places of public WiFi access such as a mall or bar, where families may be present and children exposed to pornography, violence, hate speech and racial or religious intolerance. By using a web blocker to prevent access to this type of material, businesses providing a public WiFi service can gain a competitive advantage over businesses who fail to protect their customers.
Key Considerations when Evaluating a Web Blocker
There are three key considerations when evaluating a web blocker – flexibility, ease of use and cost. If a web blocker lacks flexibility, one of two things will happen. The filtering parameters will either be set too high – potentially blocking access to business-critical or educationally valuable content – or they will be set too low, leaving gateways open for malware and ransomware infections. A low setting can also fail to block access to productivity-sapping or inappropriate online content.
Ease of use is an important consideration because, if solutions for blocking web access are too complicated to operate, the degree of flexibility will be immaterial. Not every organization wants to apply the same filtering parameters to every user using its Internet service. Therefore, if a system administrator wants to apply one policy for one group of users and a different policy for a second group of users, the procedure for applying this degree of flexibility should be straightforward.
Cost really shouldn´t be a consideration because the cost of recovering from a malware infection or a ransomware attack is much higher than the cost of implementing a web blocker. However, organizations working on a tight budget should look out for solutions for blocking web access that have no upfront costs, that have flexible pricing plans, and that do not tie them into a long-term contract – or, if a long-term contract is required, offer an attractive discount for prepayment.
Solutions for Blocking Web Access from WebTitan
WebTitan is a leading developer of flexible, easy-to-use and cost-efficient online security solutions. Our solutions for blocking web access we have helped hundreds of organizations around the world prevent Internet users visiting unsafe or unsavory websites since 2009. As hardware solutions are inflexible, difficult to use and expensive, we offer organizations a choice of software and cloud-based solutions for blocking web access – WebTitan Gateway, WebTitan Cloud and WebTitan Cloud for WiFi:
WebTitan Gateway is an enterprise-class software solution that is installed behind a firewall to block Internet threats that the firewall fails to detect. WebTitan Gateway integrates with management tools such as Active Directory and LDAP to facilitate the quick and easy application of acceptable use policies by individual user, user group or organization-wide.
WebTitan Cloud is an easy to use cloud-based web blocker that provides an unmatched combination of coverage, accuracy and flexibility. No clients or onsite software is required to use WebTitan Cloud, as it connects to our servers via a redirect of the organization´s DNS settings. Consequently, WebTitan Cloud can be deployed and configured within fifteen minutes.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi has been specifically developed for organizations that have implemented a BYOD policy or who have a WiFi service accessible by the public. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi supports single WiFi access points and networks with multiple WiFi hotspots, making it a suitable web blocker for every organization from the smallest bar to a national chain of restaurants.
All three solutions for blocking web access use a three-tier filtering mechanism to prevent Internet users visiting websites harboring malware and ransomware, or viewing time-wasting and inappropriate content:
- The first tier consists of blacklists and SURBL/URIBL filters that check each request to visit a website against lists of websites known to harbor malware, known to be used for phishing or ransomware attacks, or whose true identity cannot be established.
- Thereafter administrator-selected category filters prevent users visiting websites that are considered counter-productive or inappropriate. There are fifty-three preset and eight customizable categories to select from.
- Finally, keyword filters can be used to fine-tune the category filters and block web access to websites containing certain words, certain web applications and websites containing the file types most commonly associated with malware downloads.
Organizations taking advantage of our solutions for blocking web access do not have to worry about software updates. The blacklists, antivirus software, malicious URL detection software and phishing protection software are updated by us in real time. We also categorize new websites as they are published to prevent the circumnavigation of the filtering parameters.
The application of category filters and keyword filters – and which user groups they apply to – is managed via a centralized, web-based portal that has an intuitive interface. Through the portal, administrators can observe web activity in real time and order historic reports by individual user, user group or organization wide to conduct risk assessments and identify new threats.
The final key consideration we mentioned above was cost. The cost of each WebTitan web blocker depends on the number of users the web blocker will protect, the deployment option (WebTitan Gateway, Cloud or Cloud for WiFi) and the frequency of payment. There are no upfront costs for deployment, or any other charge for customer service or technical support.
Try a WebTitan Web Blocker for Free
If you would like to evaluate the benefits of a WebTitan web blocker in your own environment, we invite you to contact us and request a free trial of the WebTitan solution most appropriate for your circumstances. Our team of Sales Technicians will guide you through the registration process, talk you through the deployment of the web blocker and answer any questions you have about preventing Internet users visiting websites harboring malware and ransomware, or viewing time-wasting and inappropriate content.