Cloud web filtering solutions are ideal for organizations that want to protect their networks – and control the online content that network users can access – without having to commit to a significant investment in hardware, or to Internet content filtering software that requires a high level of maintenance.
Cloud web filtering solutions work by redirecting the organization´s DNS servers to those of the cloud service provider; and, although each organization has independent control over how its filtering solution is configured, the actual filtering of URLs and website content is done at the service provider´s end.
This process means that cloud web filtering solutions use the resources of the service provider to efficiently filter the web, rather than placing a strain on the organization´s network. This is an important consideration when using SSL inspection to maximize defenses against online threats.
A Brief Introduction to SSL Inspection
Historically, encrypted web pages were typically only used to secure online transactions and little else. Their SSL Certificates were a sign the content could be trusted, and web filters – unable to read encrypted web pages at the time – allowed requests to visit encrypted web pages unchallenged.
Two events changed the trustworthiness of SSL Certificates – cybercriminals hacked into the databases of Certification Authorities to create their own fake SSL Certificates, and some web optimization companies gave away SSL Certificates free as part of their subscription packages.
The consequence of these events was that cybercriminals could bypass web filtering mechanisms to deliver their malware payloads undetected. There was also a significant increase in encrypted web pages that did not undergo the same level of scrutiny as before to achieve SSL Certification.
SSL Inspection Maximizes Defenses but is Resource Intensive
The purpose of SSL inspection is to look inside encrypted web pages and inspect their content for malware or links to phishing sites. When user policies are applied to cloud web filtering solutions with SSL inspection, web pages are also checked for content organizations do not want their users to access.
However the process of decrypting, inspecting and re-encrypting web pages is resource-intensive and, as more than half the world´s most-visited web pages are now encrypted, it affects network performance. Even “light” online activities such as emailing can suffer from prolonged latency.
Many organizations have attempted to reduce the workload on their servers by “whitelisting” business-critical websites and apps – a process that allows approved websites and apps to bypass the filtering mechanisms. However, in larger organizations where multiple user policies are in force, the whitelisting process can be resource-intensive for administrators – who may be unable to keep up with the demand.
The Secondary Advantages of Cloud Web Filtering Solutions
In addition to no upfront costs, ease of deployment, and a reduction of server workload, cloud web filtering solutions have plenty of secondary advantages – most notably that the filtering parameters are easier to set and adjust via integration with LDAP or Active Directory, or via a web-based centralized management portal.
Cloud-based web filters have lower maintenance overheads than hardware-based or software-based filters as software updates and the categorization of websites are performed by the cloud service provider. They also expand to meet the demands of the network without the need for organizations to invest in additional hardware or purchase additional server capacity.
The most important advantages are that they efficiently protect networks from online threats and control the online content that network users can access in order to enhance productivity and prevent the exposure of inappropriate content – without requiring a capital outlay, the resources of an IT department to maintain, or an increase in server capacity to operate.
Cloud Web Filtering Solutions with SSL Inspection from SpamTitan
SpamTitan offers organization a choice of cloud web filtering solutions with SSL inspection – WebTitan Cloud for fixed networks and WebTitan Cloud for WiFi for wireless networks. Both cloud web filtering solutions are universally compatible with hardware-based and virtual networks, and all types of operating system.
WebTitan Cloud and WebTitan Cloud for WiFi are enterprise grade cloud web filtering solutions that have been specifically designed with ease of use in mind. They can be deployed, configured and ready to use in minutes, and have minimal maintenance overheads thereafter – with no bandwidth restrictions or limit on the number of users that can connect to your network.
Our web-based centralized management portal allows real-time viewing of web activity on your network and the option to schedule reports by user, category or time. The depth of historical information available from our cloud web filtering solutions helps identify trends to further mitigate online threats and enforce acceptable use policies.
Try WebTitan Cloud or WebTitan Cloud for WiFi for Free
If you would like to experience the advantages cloud web filtering solutions in your own environment, you are invited to contact us and request a free trial of WebTitan Cloud or WebTitan Cloud for WiFi depending on your network. Our team of friendly Sales Technicians will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through the details of the trial.
If necessary, our team will also guide you through the process of redirecting your DNS server settings to access our cloud web filtering solutions and walk you through the management portal so there is no delay in maximizing your defenses against online threats. If you encounter any difficulties during your free trial, we will always be on hand to assist you.