An HTTPS content filter is an Internet content filter that decrypts, reads, scans and re-encrypts the content of encrypted websites in a process known as SSL inspection to ensure they do not harbor malware and that the content of the encrypted websites complies with acceptable use policies.
An HTTPS content filter is a key network security tool due to cybercriminals identifying that many older Internet content filters do not conduct the SSL inspection process. By hiding exploit kits and links to phishing websites in the content of encrypted websites, Internet content filters without SSL inspection are unable to identify the threats they contain – allowing cybercriminals to deploy their web-borne threats.
Why SSL Inspection has become so Important
SSL inspection has become an important factor in network security because obtaining an SSL Certificate is much easier than it once was. Some online security vendors have given away SSL Certificates in their subscription packages, while the checks on “secure” websites conducted by Certification Authorities are no longer as stringent as they used to be.
Many website owners have chosen to encrypt their websites for SEO purposes – believing it will enhance their rankings in Google´s Search Engine Results Pages – and the majority of social media websites have also chosen to use encryption to protect their clients´ conversations. Consequently more than half of the world´s most-visited websites are now encrypted.
This presents a problem not only for network security managers, but also for system administrators trying to enforce acceptable use policies. Businesses and other organizations that do not implement an HTTPS content filter not only run the risk of having their networks infested by malware and ransomware, they have little control over the nature of content network users can access.
Why Doesn´t Every Business Implement an HTTPS Content Filter?
Considering the risk of infection and lack of control, it would seem natural that every business and organization implement an HTTPS content filter. That, unfortunately, is not the case – the argument against filters with SSL inspection being that the SSL inspection process places a significant strain on CPU resources – affecting network performance and slowing Internet speeds.
This argument can be overcome using the whitelisting feature – a feature that allows trusted websites and web applications to bypass the filtering process. With fewer websites having to undergo the SSL inspection process, network performance is improved and users receive a filtered Internet service with imperceptible latency. This feature works on both software-based and cloud-based filtering solutions.
Indeed, it is not always the case that SSL inspection causes the latency issues. Network users can place a considerable strain on CPU resources by watching videos and live-streamed events. By blocking access to websites such as YouTube and Netflix (which both have https:// prefixes), network administrators can free up CPU resources and allow their networks to operate far more efficiently.
WebTitan HTTPS Content Filters from SpamTitan
WebTitan is a range of HTTPS content filters developed over many years by SpamTitan. WebTitan filters provide a robust defense against malware, and granular control over who, what, and when users can access Internet content. Our WebTitan product range is compatible with every operating system, scalable up to 60,000 users and comes in a choice of deployment options:
- WebTitan Cloud with SSL inspection and auto-configuration requires a simple redirection of the network´s DNS settings to be functioning within 20 minutes.
- WebTitan Cloud for WiFi protects wireless networks, the devices that connect to them and network users. This HTTPS content filter is most suitable for businesses with a BYOD policy.
If you feel that a HTTPS content filter should be part of your network security, you are invited to contact us and request a free trial of whichever WebTitan product is most suitable for your needs. Our team of Sales Technicians will be happy to answer any questions you have about suitability, the SSL inspection process and cloud filtering before guiding you through the registration process to start your trial today.