If you are searching for business web filtering software, you are certainly not alone. Businesses all over the world are now choosing to implement web filtering solutions to protect their networks from web-based threats such as phishing, malware, botnets, and ransomware.
Cyberattacks on businesses have been increasing year over year with hackers seeking access to customer data, intellectual property, and trade secrets – all of which can be easily monetized. Malware has always posed a risk to businesses. Malware is used to steal sensitive data and provide persistent access to business networks. In 2022, 560,000 new malware samples are being detected every day and there are estimated to be more than 1 billion malware programs circulating worldwide.
Over the past few years, there has also been an increase in the use of ransomware – malicious software that encrypts critical business files with powerful encryption. Attackers then demand a ransom to supply keys to unlock the encryption. So severe is the problem that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, and other security agencies regularly issue advisories warning of the high risk of attack. According to the 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon, ransomware attacks increased by 13% in 2021 – That is more than the increases from the past 5 years combined!
Phishing attacks are a persistent threat to businesses. These attacks target employees and attempt to trick them into disclosing sensitive data such as credentials or installing malware by visiting a malicious website or opening an infected email attachment. Given the extent to which malware, ransomware, and phishing are used in cyberattacks, business web filtering software has never been more important.
How Does Business Web Filter Software Prevent Malware Infections?
Business web filtering software can be used to prevent malware downloads in a number of ways. Web filters can be configured to block downloads of files commonly associated with malware – files with the extensions .EXE, .ZIP, .RAR, and .JS files for example. They can also be configured to prevent network users from visiting non-business-critical websites, which may have been compromised and are being used to distribute malware and ransomware.
Web filter solutions maintain blacklists of known malicious websites, and those blacklists are constantly updated as new malicious web pages are identified. When a user attempts to visit a blacklisted site, the request is denied and they are instead redirected to a locally-hosted block page which explains why the web page cannot be loaded. The blacklists are fed threat intelligence from global networks of millions of users, so as soon as a malicious webpage is detected, all users of the filtering solution will be protected.
It is also possible to prevent users from visiting risky websites, where malware is often hosted. The most common sites are peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and warez sites, that offer pirated software. Malware is often bundled with the software or incorporated into product activators. Blocking access to these sites using category-based filters reduces the risk of a malware infection as well as reducing legal risk. Blocking access to non-work-related sites can also allow businesses to improve the productivity of the workforce. The Internet is a major temptation for employees and countless hours are lost each year to personal Internet use. Category-based controls can be used to block access to any category of websites such as gambling, dating, gaming, travel, streaming, and social media networks.
Another Layer of Protection Against Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks often include a web-based component. Emails are sent with hyperlinks to websites where phishing forms are hosted that harvest credentials. these websites spoof well-known brands and can be difficult for users to identify as malicious. While spam filtering solutions will block the majority of these emails, some will land in inboxes and employees often click links in these emails.
One tactic commonly used to fool spam filters is sending emails with links to benign websites, then updating the content of the website after the emails have been delivered. Spam filters that check the links will identify them as benign, but when the user opens the email the content on the website will have been changed. A web filter provides time-of-click protection against phishing attacks and will block attempts by users to visit known phishing websites.
Benefits of Using Business Web Filter Software
Organizations can prevent malware downloads by using business web filter software, although there are many other benefits that can be gained from filtering the Internet. Some of the main benefits of business web filter software are listed below:
- Prevent employees from wasting time online
- Block access to pornography in the workplace
- Prevent access to inappropriate website content
- Prevent activities that waste bandwidth (video and audio streaming, file downloads)
- Monitor employees’ and customers’ Internet use
- Comply with industry regulations (e.g. CIPA, HIPAA)
Business Web Filter Software Cost Comparison
If you have yet to make a firm decision about whether you should purchase business web filtering software, it is worthwhile considering the cost of providing your employees with unrestricted access to the Internet. Productivity losses can be considerable. Conservative estimates on Internet use by employees suggest that an hour is wasted each day on non-work-related online activities. Multiply that figure by the number of employees in your organization and the daily losses are considerable.
According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report from IBM Security, the cost of an average data breach in the United States was $4.24 million, up 10% from the previous year. The healthcare industry has the highest breach costs, with the average cost now $9.23 million in 2021. Remote working has increased the cost of breaches, with businesses operating under a remote working model paying an average of $1.01 million more in breach costs. The cost of remediating malware infections or ransomware attacks, coupled with the loss of business during recovery and the loss of reputation is too great for many SMBs, which is why 60% go out of business within 6 months of suffering a data breach.
Compare the cost of a data breach to business web filter software licenses for each employee and the savings are considerable. Business web filter software licenses cost as little as $15 per user per year. The cost can be even lower if software licenses are purchased for more than one year.
What is the Best Business Web Filtering Software?
Before opting for any provider of web filtering solutions, compare business web filtering software from a few organizations. It may be possible to make considerable cost savings without reducing the level of protection for your network. Business web filtering software will not necessarily cost several thousand dollars a year! Business software comparison websites provide useful information. They often include feedback and reviews from verified users of the solutions to allow other businesses to avoid the mistakes others have made and to help choose the right solution to meet business needs. G2, Capterra, Expert Insights, Spiceworks, and Gartner all offer business software reviews and assessments.
It is important to consider not only the initial cost of business web filtering software but also how much it will cost to maintain the software over time. Some solutions require many hours to be invested in configuration, maintenance, monitoring, and generating reports. The best business web filtering software automates a lot of the reporting functions, sends instant alerts on inappropriate site access, and allows acceptable usage policies to be easily applied and updated.
The best business web filter software solutions have highly granular controls which allow fine control over the websites that can be accessed. Look for a solution that links with Active Directory, LDAP, and NetIQ, as this will make it quicker and easier to configure the web filter for different user groups within your organization.
The best web filtering solutions are DNS-based, meaning they use the Domain Name System. When a user wants to visit a website, the DNS is used to find the IP address of the website, as without it the browser will not be able to find the website. The browser sends a DNS query to a DNS server, and the IP address is returned. The process, which can involve requests being sent to multiple servers, only takes a fraction of a second. DNS-based filtering is similarly quick, and also only takes a fraction of a second, so there is no noticeable latency and further, no content is downloaded, which is better for security.
Look for business web filter software that includes a web-based interface. This will allow your administrator to change Internet filter settings remotely. This is especially important for MSPs as it will make managing the web filter for clients a much quicker and easier process. MSPs should also look for a solution that can be integrated into their existing client management and provisioning systems through APIs
WebTitan Business Web Filtering Software
WebTitan web filtering solutions have been designed to be easy to implement, convenient to use, effortless to maintain, and highly scalable. WebTitan Cloud is our 100% cloud-based business web filter software solution. WebTitan Cloud could not be easier to install, configure, and maintain. No software downloads are required, only a simple change to the DNS is required. WebTitan Cloud can also be used to control access to content via Wi-Fi networks and protect users’ devices from malware infections. WebTitan also provides protection for users on and off the network, including employees working from home.
Benefits of WebTitan Internet Filtering Software
- Excellent protection from malware, adware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing websites
- Includes a database of more than 500 million websites sorted into predefined categories
- WebTitan is updated with threat intelligence from a global network of more than 500 million endpoints, providing protection from zero-minunte threats.
- Block websites and web pages in 200 languages
- A web-based interface allows settings to be applied from any location
- Category based filters allow internet policies to be quickly uploaded
- Allows the use of whitelists and blacklists
- Includes a suite of APIs to ensure easy integration into any business infrastructure or management system
- Integrates with AD, LDAP, and NetIQ
- Allows SSL inspection and scans FTP/HTTP and HTTPS sites
- Blocks anonymizer sites, and prevents IP and port bypassing
- Includes a full suite of pre-configured reports and instant email alerts
- Allows time-based web filtering controls to be applied
- Suitable for dynamic and static IPs
Try a WebTitan Business Website Filter for Free
If you have a responsibility for online security in your business, or you are a Managed Service Provider looking for a flexible and scalable solution for your business clients, you are invited to contact us and request a free trial of a WebTitan content filtering solution. Our team of Sales Technicians will discuss your requirements with you to determine which of our business web filtering solutions is appropriate for your specific requirements and will guide you through the process of registering for your free trial and configuring the solution.
The free trial will give you the opportunity to evaluate the WebTitan web filtering solution in your own environment and configure the parameters to match your needs. Thereafter, should you decide to continue using our business web filtering software at the end of the trial, no further configuration will be necessary in order to keep your network free from malware and ransomware and protect your users from phishing attacks.