A web content filtering service can help to improve security posture and ensure that the Internet is used responsibly by all users. While there are many important benefits to be gained from filtering the Internet, the three main advantages are listed below.
A Web Content Filtering Service Can Be Used to Enforce Acceptable Use Policies
In an ideal world staff and customers could be provided with full access to the Internet. However, even when acceptable use policies (AUPs) are introduced, some individuals choose to abuse their Internet access rights. To prevent this from happening many organizations use a website content filter service to enforce their AUPs.
A website filtering service can be used to ensure staff members always abide by company rules when accessing the Internet. Not only can a website content filter service save valuable HR department time, intelligent use of a website content filter service can help to improve the productivity of the workforce, prevent a hostile working environment from developing, and reduce the risk of legal issues arising from employees sharing illegal website content.
A Website Content Filter Service Can Improve Security Posture
Using a web filtering service to control Internet access is not only about preventing access to inappropriate website content. Website content filtering is an important element of cybersecurity defenses. By exerting control over the content that can be accessed, organizations can reduce the risk of phishing, whaling, malware downloads, and the installation of ransomware.
Recent Internet threat reports from anti-virus companies and Internet security firms suggest that three-fourths of websites contain security vulnerabilities. If hackers are able to compromise websites and install exploit kits, visitors to those sites could potentially be infected with malware.
A software solution is required to block malware downloads and prevent compromised sites from being accessed as visitors will not be able to visually tell if a site has been compromised. A website filtering service can be used alongside staff training and traditional anti-virus solutions to reduce the risk from malicious software downloads and tackle the rising risk of web-borne attacks. Phishing sites can also be blocked using a website filtering service.
Website Content Filtering Can Prevent Bandwidth Wastage
The third main reason for using a website content filtering solution is to reduce bandwidth wastage. Organizations do not have unlimited bandwidth and, at busy times, bandwidth availability may be limited. Without sufficient bandwidth, Internet access speeds will be reduced and some users may be prevented from being able to connect to the Internet and download email.
Organizations can choose to increase available bandwidth but this can be expensive. The alternative is to cut back on bandwidth wastage. A website content filtering solution can be used to block online services that consume a considerable amount of bandwidth.
By blocking video and audio streaming services, certain web applications, gaming websites, and P2P file sharing applications, a considerable amount of bandwidth can be saved.
A web content filtering service may also allow restrictions to be placed on Internet activity at certain times of the day. This allows organizations to take a more relaxed attitude to certain online activities at times when bandwidth availability isn’t an issue.
Advantages of Using a Web Filtering Service for Customers
There is increasing pressure on businesses to offer customers free Internet access. Consumers are now demanding Internet access in shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and while travelling. Decisions are being made about where to shop, eat, travel, and spend time based on whether the Internet, email, and messaging services can be accessed.
It is no longer a case of providing access to the Internet simply to attract customers. Any business that does not offer a Wi-Fi connection to customers could find they lose a considerable amount of business to competitors who do.
Providing totally free access to the Internet can lead to a number of problems. Some individuals may choose to use a free Wi-Fi network to conduct illegal activity because of the additional anonymity that public Wi-Fi access points offer. The accessing of adult website content is also a major problem for many businesses.
Using a web filtering service allows businesses to prevent illegal activity on their Wi-Fi networks and ensures customers are not exposed to inappropriate website content.
What to Look for in a Website Filtering Service
Finding a suitable web content filtering service can be a time consuming process. There are a wide range of options available and many different features included by different service providers. The cost of implementation can vary substantially, as can the time commitment needed to install, configure, and manage a content filter.
Choosing the right solution for your business will ensure you can protect your networks, carefully control Internet content, and avoid any unnecessary costs. To save you time, we have listed some of the important features of a web content filtering service to consider.
It is important to choose a web content filtering service that suits your current requirements, but also has the capacity to grow with your company. Many web content filtering solutions have bandwidth limits, place restrictions on the number of TCP connections, or the number of users. A web content filtering service without such restrictions can save many headaches down the line.
It is essential that a web content filtering service lets you apply your current AUPs; however, over time policies are likely to change. Choose a web content filtering service with highly granular controls so that you will be able to easily tweak the settings as your AUPs change. A solution with category and keyword-based web content filtering options that also supports whitelists and blacklists will give you the maximum flexibility.
Ensure that a web filtering service is compatible with your existing hardware and can be easily incorporated into all your software systems. Look for a software-based filtering solution with minimal hardware requirements and a suite of APIs to ensure easy integration with back-office systems.
Applying organization-wide AUPs should be a quick and easy process; however, make sure that web filtering settings can be easily applied for different user groups. Integration with Active Directory, LDAP, and Novel eDirectory will make it much easier to configure the filter for different user accounts.
The ideal website content filtering service should not take your most experienced IT staff away from critical day to day tasks. A great deal of valuable time can be lost applying AUPs and changing web content filtering settings. Look for a web content filtering service with intuitive controls and a web-based interface to allow filtering settings to be applied from any location. The ability to delegate administrative options will also make management easier.
MSPs and resellers will need a web content filtering service that can be seamlessly incorporated into existing service packages. If you are planning to sell web filtering as-a-service, look for a solution with multiple hosting options and a service that can be supplied in white-label form.
WebTitan Cloud – Internet Filtering Made Simple
WebTitan Cloud is a DNS-based web content filtering solution that has been designed to be easy to implement, quick to configure, and simple to maintain.
Our cost-effective web content filtering service can be used to protect wired and Wi-Fi networks regardless of the number of users or access points.
WebTitan Cloud Advantages
- No software downloads
- No additional hardware
- Content filtering for wired and Wi-Fi networks
- No latency
- No bandwidth restrictions or limits on the number of devices
- Highly granular controls
- A web-based interface that allows control of settings from any location
- Range of APIs for ease of integration
- Time-based filtering options
- Intuitive controls requiring no technical skill
- Category and keyword-based content filtering
- Supports whitelist and blacklists
- Low management overhead
- Automated reporting
- Excellent scalability
- Range of hosting options
- Available in white-label form
Contact the WebTitan team today for details of pricing and to find out how our web content filtering service can benefit your business.