Using filtering technology to enhance security
Employing a Web proxy URL filtering service can deliver many positive benefits for both organisations and end-users that go far beyond the basic implementation of preventing access to named websites or particular types of websites.
Filtering technology is predominantly a security tool, one that provides an essential layer of centralised, server-side protection from security threats before they manifest on client devices.
Despite its importance, many businesses underestimate the need to have proper web browsing security and leave themselves susceptible to underperformance, risk and liability.
What is URL filtering?
The internet contains many threats with an increasing number of previously unseen, zero-day vulnerabilities being exploited every day. This mostly occurs when visiting a website or opening an email that contains an unknown URL. Proxy URL filtering or web browsing security is an effective way of protecting your business and maintaining high levels of security. It does this by:
- creating website allow/block lists
- controlling data sent to sites or via web-based services
- detecting and blocking of internet-based threats.
Either by using predefined templates or a service that is customisable, allow/block lists can be created according to one or a combination of values, such as user, time of day, URL category, etc. Customisable services allow you to tailor your list in accordance with your business requirements.
The scanning and controlling of data sent to sites can help to eliminate the distribution of personal or proprietary data or otherwise unsuitable information. Plus, effective filtering helps detect and block Internet-based threats before they reach your network and pose a much more serious problem.
Why URL filtering is necessary
Increased security. If you don’t employ a URL filtering policy, you could be giving your users open access to malicious websites that will attempt to disrupt your infrastructure or network, steal sensitive information or infiltrate your entire system to corrupt it or use it to launch an attack elsewhere. This is done either by tricking the user into installing malware e.g. clicking on a disguised link or by drive-by download where the website will attempt an automatic malware installation, which bypasses the need for consent.
Liability risk. There is an increased risk of liability if your users are allowed access to sites that display offensive or illegal content, such as hate, drugs, pornography or violence.
Improved productivity. The lack of web filtering could mean your users are distracted by social media and instant messaging, leading to time wasting. URL filtering can be used to focus the attention of your workforce where it’s needed most.
Improved reporting. Information that could be valuable to your organisation relating to web usage that could impact sales or add value by increasing efficiency, could be lost without URL filtering. Reports and logs can be generated that help to determine how separate areas of the business are performing by highlighting the most visited URL categories.
How can Awareness help with your web and data security?
ASL can help protect your business from compromised websites and malicious downloads and allows you to control and enforce “Acceptable User Policies “whether the user is in the office or working offsite. The benefits of our antivirus web filtering include:
- allowing, blocking, reporting or logging of categorised web searches
- file content analysis (uploaded to cloud-based applications or contained in email)
- blocking of inappropriate posts
- preventing the distribution of password-protected content
- preventing the download of business information to personal email and much more.
At ASL, we have more than 20 years of experience assisting businesses to detect and contain hostile attempts to disrupt business operations. Data security is our priority. We believe we can offer you a powerful and flexible way to create custom web filtering policies that serve your business both in terms of performance and security.
Contact us on 0345 862 0350 to discuss how our antivirus web filtering services can secure and protect your business.