Content Filtering for MSPs

Content filtering for MSPs can be time consuming and the price of some web filtering solutions means it can be expensive for clients and there is often little margin for MSPs. However, it is possible to provide content filtering-as-a-service to meet clients’ needs and for it to be profitable service, provided you chose an MSP-friendly service provider.

There is certainly demand for content filtering solutions in healthcare. A web filtering solution prevents employees from visiting websites that violate company policies, and that helps to prevent HR issues, reduces legal risk, and creates a family-friendly environment for guest Wi-Fi networks. By preventing workers from accessing certain categories of website, productivity can be increased, and bandwidth can be conserved.

While content control for the above reasons is important, for many businesses in the healthcare sector, web filtering is required to improve security. A web filtering solution will prevent employees from visiting malicious websites, such as those hosting phishing kits, exploit kits, and malware. Web filters can be used to block downloads of file types associated with malware. A web filter can also block downloads of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) which can also pose a security risk and control shadow IT. Web filtering is an important part of a multi-layered security strategy and it can also help with HIPAA compliance. Many healthcare providers want this level of protection and look to MSPs to provide it.

Content filtering for MSPs used to require the use of a physical appliance, but cloud-based content filtering is now the norm. The best form of content filtering for MSPs is DNS filtering. With DNS filtering, all filtering takes place in the cloud at the DNS lookup stage before any content is downloaded. That reduces risk and means there are no latency issues for clients. There are also no hardware or software requirements and no operating system restrictions. Set up just requires a change to their DNS provider to point it to the service provider’s DNS.

With cloud-based filtering, everything can be managed remotely from a web-based interface. Clients can also be assigned restricted access to the solution and can manage their own content control settings to reduce the management burden on the MSP and give clients greater control.

In short, DNS filtering takes the hassle out of content control for MSPs and helps them better protect their healthcare clients from online threats.