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Cisco has announced it has added a new whitelist only feature to Cisco Umbrella. The whitelist only option allows organizations to restrict Internet access to a small number of secure websites, and block access to the rest of the Internet.
User are able to access the whitelist only option via their Umbrella dashboard. When the whitelist only option is set, all domains will be blocked by default and will be inaccessible. Any attempt made by an end user to visit a website that has not been added to the whitelist will be blocked before a connection is made. Any individual that attempts to access an unauthorized website would be presented a block page or the user could be directed to a specific URL.
The setting can be applied to an existing rule or a new rule can be created. The whitelist only option can be set for the entire organization, for a particular network, for user groups, individual users or certain devices. The whitelist option will disable category lists and blocklists and will only allow sites to be added via allow lists. The whitelist can be used for domains or URLs.
While the whitelist only option is not often used by companies, it does provide an opportunity to increase security for the entire organization or certain users and devices. This level of control is ideal for organizations that want maximum protection from data leaks and malware. It gives them the opportunity to lock down their network – something which is necessary when the risk associated with Internet access is considered too great. Internet access can therefore be granted only for websites that have been approved by the IT department.
Since this level of control can cause headaches and prevent users from performing essential work duties, it is a control that is best applied to individual users or specific devices, for example, certain servers that only have Internet access for very limited functions.