Many businesses block websites at work with an Internet filtering solution in order to prevent employees visiting non-work related websites. The loss of productivity due to “cyber-slacking” is estimated to cost industry trillions of dollars annually, and whereas pornography and social media is often blamed for this loss, the biggest culprit is online shopping.
Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day are estimated to have each cost more than $10 billion in lost productivity last year. According to one study, 53% of those interviewed admitted to spending more than an hour of their working day looking for online bargains on Cyber Monday; while a second study put the percentage of employees scouring bargains on Amazon at 78%.
The popularity of online shopping is not lost on cybercriminals. Cybercriminals conduct spamming campaigns to drive traffic to malicious websites by offering bargains and special offers, especially in the run up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday periods. Malvertising is also used to direct people to malicious websites. Malvertising is the use of malicious websites on legitimate third-party ad blocks on websites.
Vulnerabilities in websites are also exploited and malicious code is uploaded. The websites with the highest number of exploited security vulnerabilities fall into the pharmaceutical, holiday planning and insurance comparison categories – especially those that carry third-party advertising.
Businesses that block websites at work should be sure to block these categories of website along with the typical selection of adult entertainment, online gambling and video streaming websites. In this way, businesses reduce the risk of a malware infection from a drive-by download or phishing attack, while simultaneously making productivity gains by curbing cyberslacking and personal internet use.
How to Block Websites at Work
If your business does not already use an Internet filtering solution to block websites at work, you are potentially leaving gaps in your network security – yet the process for doing so is simple. Most Internet filtering solutions have a centralized management portal through which user policies are applied and reports are generated to help with risk assessments and to identify trends in web activity.
To block websites at work, network administrators log into the management portal and navigate to the category control list. More than six billion web pages are sorted into categories depending on the nature of their content, such as abortion, adult entertainment, alternative beliefs, gambling, dating, etc.). Network administrators block access to them by checking the check box alongside the category description. When an attempt is made to visit one a site in the blocked category, they will be directed to a local blocklist and no connection to the site will be made.
The more categories an Internet filtering solution has, the easier it is to block websites at work without blocking access to a business-critical website or application. In SpamTitan´s range of Internet filtering solutions, there are fifty-three preconfigured categories and ten customizable categories that network administrators can populate by using the keyword filtering feature.
It is not necessary to block the same categories of website for every user. Policies can be created for different user groups so – for example – if a business wanted to block access to Facebook for employees except those in its marketing department, this could be organized with the click of a mouse. It is also possible to whitelist specific websites to eliminate the need to create an endless number of policies.
Try an Internet Filtering Solution from SpamTitan for Free
In addition to being a versatile tool for blocking websites at work, SpamTitan´s range of Internet filtering solutions – WebTitan – provides a robust defense against all web-borne threats. Each request to visit a website is checked against multiple databases to find matches with websites known to harbor malware, those from which spam has originated, and those that hide their identity.
Our range of Internet filtering solutions can block websites at work by type, keyword, IP address, time and controls can be applied to conserve bandwidth. They can prevent employees downloading files with extensions most commonly associated with malware, and be integrated with management tools such as Active Directory for the accelerated creation of user policies. MSPs can also integrate WebTitan into their management systems through APIs.
There are three Internet filtering solutions to choose from:
- WebTitan Gateway is a software solution that is installed as a virtual appliance behind the firewall or hosted in a virtual infrastructure. Compatible with most network systems and scalable to thousands of users, WebTitan Gateway provides real time monitoring of network web activity to identify threats in real time.
- With automatic configuration, automatic updates and automatic back-up, WebTitan Cloud is a low maintenance solution to block websites at work. Implemented by redirecting the network DNS server settings, WebTitan Cloud can manage networks in multiple locations - making it an ideal solution for MSPs and resellers.
- As the name suggests, WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is an Internet filtering solution specifically designed for wireless networks. Universally compatible with all network systems, WebTitan Cloud for WiFi can protect networks serviced by a single WiFi router, or a nationwide network of WiFi hotspots with imperceptible latency.
If you are responsible for network security in your business or organization, and would like to know more about how to block websites at work with a WebTitan Internet filtering solution, we invite you to contact us and request a free trial of the WebTitan solution most appropriate for your requirements. Our team of Sales Technicians will be happy to answer your questions, guide you through the registration and set-up processes for your free trial, and be on hand during your trial to help you block websites at work, increase productivity and protect your network from malware, ransomware and phishing attacks.