Solutions for Content Filtering Software
There are a variety of factors for you to take into account when you are researching solutions for content filtering software to implement in your organization.
You will, no doubt, be thinking about doing so due to attacks by hackers and spammers as they try to access your network so as to obtain private data or steal money. There are three main reasons for using content filtering software. They are:
- Improving Cybersecurity: Content filtering is important when you are trying to stop access to web pages that typically act as a point of origin for cyberattacks. A content filter is crucial to stop your workforce being tricked into downloading malware or ransomware from malicious websites.
- Minimizing Bandwidth Drains: As every second of work is important for your bottom line, you should be aiming to have no interruptions due to slow Internet speeds caused by bandwidth heavy web pages and platforms. Implementing a filter to limit access to web pages and services that affect bandwidth – like video streaming, online gaming and file sharing services you result in the Internet always running at full tilt.
- Enforcement of Acceptable Use Policies: Following creation of acceptable use policies (AUPs) to address the abuse of Internet access rights by employees your content filtering software can be set to disable anyone from breaking it. This will lead to a lot of time saved by your Human Resources department as they will have less complaints and disciplinary actions to investigate.
Additionally an Internet content filter could permit limits to be created for activity at certain times of the day. This means groups can adapt a more relaxed attitude to certain online activities at times when bandwidth availability is not such a concern.
Content Filtering Service Advantages
- Scalability: Opt for a web filtering service that matches your group’s particular situation and is in a position to grow in tandem with it. It is not desirable to face the same process again in a couple of years so now is the time to pick a one time solution.
- Compatibility with Existing Devices: Gather a list of all your current hardware and ask the sales team the new content filtering software can be used with this. You can further avoid problems by implementing a software-based filtering solution that has little or no hardware requirements and is easy to place on your databases.
- Ease of Configurability: Linking up with Active Directory, LDAP, and Novell eDirectory will make it far more simple to set up the filter for individuals while implementing AUPs should be easy and take little time.
- Granularity: Simple to refine user controls are crucial as you will need to apply different tiers of authorization in order to carry out different tasks in any group.
How does content filtering software block access to web pages?
Content filtering software receives a feed of URLs that have been identified as malicious and these are added to a blacklist and cannot be accessed. All websites are assigned a category, and category-based filters can be applied e.g. gaming, gambling, & pornography. Some solutions also score web pages based on the presence of user-defined keywords and will block access if a certain threshold is reached.
Can web filtering software prevent phishing attacks?
A web filter provides an additional layer of security against phishing attacks. If an email containing a malicious hyperlink is not blocked by the email security gateway, the web filter provides time-of-click protection and can prevent a user from visiting the site. A web filter also protects users from accessing malicious websites through general web browsing and redirects by malicious web adverts.
What are the different web filtering options?
Browser-based filters using add-ons and search engine filters that restrict the search results are generally not suitable for businesses as they are too easy to bypass. Businesses can either use software on each device, which is not very practical, or network-based filters that apply filtering controls across the entire network.
Which web filtering option is best for businesses?
Network-based web filters are best for business use as they protect users at scale and are easy to manage. These web filters can be delivered as a dedicated appliance, software that is installed as a virtual appliance on existing hardware, or a cloud-based content filter that is provided as a service.
What is a DNS-based web filter?
A DNS-based web filter performs filtering at the DNS lookup stage of a web request, when the requested URL is translated into an IP address to allow the web server hosting the content to be found. DNS-based web filters perform the filtering without downloading any content, so there is zero latency – page load times are unaffected.