A DNS internet filter is now considered to be an essential part of the security stack alongside anti-virus software, email security solutions, and firewalls. Firewalls provide protection at the network perimeter, email security software prevents spam, phishing, and malware-laced emails from being delivered to inboxes, and anti-virus software will block any known malware from executing if downloaded. A DNS internet filter provides protection from malware downloads and blocks the web component of phishing attacks, and is an important extra layer to security to protect against threats that are not blocked by other security solutions.
How Does a DNS Internet Filter Work?
Every internet-enabled computer has two Domain Name System (DNS) servers that are used to find the IP addresses of websites. A request is sent to the DNS server, which will perform a series of checks to identify the IP address of the website, which will then be returned to the browser allowing a connection to the website to be made.
A DNS internet filter is inserted into this process. The request is made as normal, the lookup is performed, but then filtering controls are applied. With a DNS internet filter in place, every time an employee or guest user attempts to visit a malicious or prohibited website, a connection to the website will not be made and the user will instead be directed to a local block page that informs them the website cannot be accessed because it violates a company’s policies.
Why is a DNS Internet Filter so Important?
Malware can be delivered via email, but it is also commonly downloaded from the Internet. Malicious websites are set up to fool the unwary into disclosing sensitive information and downloading malware. Websites are also used to host exploit kits, which probe for vulnerabilities on computers and exploit them to silently download malware. Anti-virus software, spam filters, and other cybersecurity solutions will not prevent users from visiting those websites.
A DNS filter provides an additional layer of protection by blocking access to those websites and also allows businesses to exercise control over the types of content their employees can access.
A DNS filter uses databases of known malicious IP addresses and illegal websites, so any attempts to visit those sites will be blocked. DNS filters also categorize websites based on their content and filtering controls can be applied to block access to certain types of website. It is also possible to block access to web content based on certain keywords in the text. By controlling access to certain categories of website, businesses will be able to make productivity gains and avoid HR and legal problems.
WebTitan Cloud: Internet Control for Businesses and MSPs
TitanHQ has developed a DNS-based internet filter called WebTitan Cloud which is can be used by SMBs, MSPs, and ISPs to block malicious websites that violate their acceptable internet usage policies. Being cloud-based, all filtering takes place on TitanHQ’s servers so there are no hardware requirements and no clients to download. For filtering to take place, all that is required is a simple change to point the DNS to WebTitan.
WebTitan Cloud will protect users on and off the network, allowing office-based workers and telecommuting workers to be protected against malware, phishing, and other web-based threats. The solution is scalable to hundreds of thousands of users, it is easy to set up, configure and maintain, and it will give you full visibility into the internet activity of your employees.
To find out more about DNS filtering and WebTitan Cloud, give the TitanHQ team a call today.